July 21, 2017

Council OKs short-term rental ordinance

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Ziel-Dingman The City Council brought to a close the long debate over short-term rentals in Idaho Falls at its Thursday meeting, when it passed an ordinance regulating short-term rentals.

The ordinance, which passed unanimously, allows short-term rentals in any residential zone in the city.

Short-term rentals have been a topic of debate for months in the city, as in other locations in eastern Idaho. Initially, the debate was dominated by a small group of homeowners who were passionately opposed to rentals in their neighborhoods.

That initial strong wave of opposition appeared to have broken by Thursday night. Relatively few people came to testify about the ordinance, and only one of those testified in opposition.

A major development in the creation of the ordinance was the Legislature’s decision to pass a bill that prevents cities from either expressly or effectively banning short-term rentals, Community Development Services Director Brad Cramer said. Key parts of the city’s regulation were pulled directly from the new bill to ensure that there’s no conflict between city ordinances and state code.

The regulations place certain limits on short-term rentals, which are often arranged through online services such as Airbnb and VRBO. Outbuildings that have not been approved for human habitation such […]

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