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Louisville Metro Council Still Mulling Whether To Regulate AirBnB Rentals

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An ordinance creating regulations for AirBnB and other short term home rentals isn’t going anywhere—for now.

During a public safety committee meeting Wednesday, Louisville Metro Council members decided to hear from the community and other cities before moving forward with new rules.

The proposed ordinance would tax short-term rentals and require operators to get a license. The idea is to get AirBnB on the same footing as local hotels, motels and bed and breakfasts.

But council members are conflicted on whether imposing such rules will backfire. They asked Assistant County Attorney Paul Whitty—and others—to speak with other cities that already have rules in place. Whitty said during the public safety committee meeting that he spoke to someone recently who works with the permitting process in Nashville.

“His openings words were, 'This is a nightmare. I wish we would have never done it,'" Whitty said. “He says it has been a monumental strain on their staff resources.”

Councilman David Yates, who chairs the committee, said multiple times during the meeting that he’s worried about possible lawsuits. Yates wants more information before the ordinance moves forward.

“We have a duty to be able to do that for our constituents and we will do that in an educated manner,” he said. “We are going to have public discussion. We are going to learn from other cities.”

Yates also said he wants to make sure council members address safety and other concerns from residents who have complained about AirBnB rentals in their neighborhoods.

About 700 AirBnB rentals are available in Louisville.

The Public Safety committee has scheduled public comment on the ordinance for Aug. 5.