Sunday November 18, 2018
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Develop Louisville, Metro Council And Louisville Tourism Propose Changes To Short Term Rental Ordinance

In December 2015, Metro Council passed an ordinance to regulate the use of short term rentals; customers often book short term rentals through online platforms such as AirBnB, VRBO, and others. City leaders have been monitoring implementation of this ordinance and the evolution of the new shared economy. Louisville Metro Department of Develop Louisville, Metro Council District 8 and Louisville Tourism have partnered to propose changes to the short term rental ordinance (Chapter 115.515-521 of the Louisville Metro Code of Ordinances and Chapter 4 of the Land Development Code) in response to the growing popularity of this tourist experience and how to best integrate it into our neighborhood fabric.

“Tourism is flourishing in our city and in addition to the number of hotels opening, we are also seeing a growth in the use of short term rentals, which allow visitors a unique way to experience our beautiful neighborhoods and vibrant commercial corridors,” said Jeff O’Brien, Director of Develop Louisville. “When welcoming this new form of the shared economy, we must also make sure that short term rentals and their occupants harmonize with neighbors and these proposed changes to our ordinance will help us better achieve that.”

“Short term rentals are good for our city but these changes are needed to upstream and toughen enforcement against illegal operators,” District 8 Metro Councilman Brandon Coan said. “Neighbors deserve these additional protections and they will serve all legal operators well.”

“As destinations around the country work to keep up with growing shared economy options for travelers, Louisville Tourism is proud to be among those that are embracing their short term rental community,” Louisville Tourism President & CEO Karen Williams said. “Now, like with traditional lodging, the transient room tax collected can be invested in marketing Louisville and we are working with our local partners, in Airbnb for example, on efforts to attract even more visitors using their properties as assets.”

Proposed changes include:

  • Limiting the number of individuals eligible to reside in a short term rental to ten (10).  The proposed changes would permit the number of individuals who can reside in a short term rental to two (2) times the number of bedrooms plus four (4) with a limit of ten (10) individuals.
  • Allowing short term rental in properties zoned EZ-1. A map of EZ-1 zoned properties that would be eligible can be found here: https://louisvilleky.gov/government/planning-design/short-term-rental-in….
  • Requiring that an emergency contact for each short term rental reside in Jefferson County.
  • Eliminating an initial registration fee, which was $25. Under the proposed changes a $25 fee will be required upon renewal.
  • Prohibiting the advertising of a short term rental if it is not registered with the city of Louisville. Enforcement for advertising a short term rental without registering it results in a notice of violation for a first offense and a $50 fine for every additional day that the short term rental remains advertised.
  • Introducing a new enforcement process: a first offense results in a $50 fine, a second offense results in a $250 fine, a third offense results in a $500 fine, and any additional offense results in a $750 fine.

To view the proposed changes in their entirety and to provide feedback, please visit https://louisvilleky.gov/government/planning-design/short-term-rental-in….

Develop Louisville staff will be presenting these proposed changes to the Planning Commission after all public feedback has been reviewed. Once approved by the Planning Commission, then the changes will go before Metro Council. Not all municipalities with zoning authority in Jefferson County have approved a short term rental ordinance.

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