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Louisville Council Committee Doesn't Want Citations Issued to AirBnB Users For Now

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The Louisville Metro Council Public Safety Committee unanimously signed off on a resolution Wednesday asking city officials to stop issuing citations until they come up with rules for AirBnB users.

Some Louisville residents who were renting their homes over AirBnB recently received letters from city officials warning them of possible fines.

But because the city has no explicit laws or regulations on the books for short term rentals done year round through the Internet—as AirBnB does—council members want to stop the citations until there are rules in place.

A resolution sponsored by council member James Peden, R-23, creates a 90-day window allowing the use of services such as AirBnB.

Peden said people shouldn’t be fined because AirBnB rentals are not expressly allowed in city code.

“I’m kind of of the nature that since we haven’t made it illegal it must be OK,” he said.

Peden also pointed out that short term rentals for events such as the Kentucky Derby are nothing new, but the city has to figure out what it wants to do now that short term rentals aren’t limited to one time of year.

“Through the Internet, that’s now turned into a 365 day a year business,” he told council members.

Peden’s resolution requests that “the Louisville Metro Government, through Develop Louisville, evaluate current laws and the enforcement thereof to adequately address the unique business practice of short term rentals as described above." It also requests that “during Louisville Metro Government's review of this matter, Louisville Metro Council requests the executive branch to refrain for a period of 90 days from issuing citations or pursuing alleged land use violations against property owners who list using these sites.”

He said he doesn’t want the city’s lack of laws on this matter to hinder tourism in the area.  Peden said city officials have already started drafting plans to show council members.

The resolution does not have the power of law and still needs to go up for a full council vote.