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Committee To Consider Exemptions For Short-Term Rentals

city Hall
city Hall

Coming off the highest-volume weekend in Louisville for such services, a Metro Council committee will meet Monday to continue discussions of new regulations for short-term rentals.

Such rentals include units available through online sites like Airbnb and VRBO. It's considered to be a growing industry in Louisville and in many cities across the country.

Metro Council President David Yates is expected to introduce an amendment Monday exempting short-term rentals from certain regulations during major events, such as the Kentucky Derby and PGA golf championships.

"I don’t want to make the same mistake other cities have done where they’ve over-regulated it, and they couldn’t enforce it and it cost them money," he said. "We want to protect the integrity of the neighborhoods, but I want to do so in a way that also encourages our tourism and makes Louisville a fun, exciting place to visit.”

The council has spent months trying to develop a set of rules for the growing industry. Last year, the council approved a series of ordinances dealing with short-term rentals.

They include a $25 annual registration fee, a requirement that hosts be located within 25 miles of the rental property and include “clearly marked” evacuation plans for the premises. The new rules also include a requirement that the facility have no more than twice the number of renters as bedrooms, plus four, in the building. And the property can have no more than one short-term rental contract at a time.

The regulations will carry penalties beginning with a warning. But for a third offense, owners will be fined between $500 and $1,000. The city will also have the option to take subsequent offenses to Circuit Court through civil complaints or by seeking an injunction.

These regulations are set to go in effect June 1, but Yates said the date is arbitrary and can be pushed back if needed. The council committee will also review other recommendations from the Metro Planning Commission regarding short-term rentals.

The committee meeting will begin at 3 p.m. at City Hall in downtown Louisville.

Jacob Ryan is the managing editor of the Kentucky Center for Investigative reporting. He's an award-winning investigative reporter who joined LPM in 2014. Email Jacob at jryan@lpm.org.

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