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Las Vegas City Council may ban all future short-term rentals

Updated September 27, 2018 - 8:03 pm

The city of Las Vegas may end its run as the only jurisdiction in Clark County allowing short-term rentals.

City Councilwoman Lois Tarkanian said she proposed an ordinance that will stop Las Vegas’ practice of allowing short-term rentals to operate if they get a permit from the city. Tarkanian voted to put the permit process in place last year but changed her mind after receiving a deluge of complaints from city residents.

“You shouldn’t be able to use your house as a motel room,” she said. “We don’t allow any other kind of businesses inside residential areas, so I don’t think we should allow short-term rentals there.”

International home-sharing company Airbnb is mobilizing its user base to fight Tarkanian’s idea.

The San Francisco-based company emailed users Monday asking them to speak against the proposal when it is introduced at an Oct. 9 Planning Commission meeting. And Airbnb encouraged users to send elected city officials a prewritten email opposing the measure.

About 500,000 people stayed at Airbnb rentals in the Las Vegas area last year, the company reports. That’s almost double the amount of visitors in 2016.

“We look forward to continued work in Las Vegas to ensure that hosts can continue to share what is their most valuable asset — their home and earn important supplemental income to help make ends meet,” Airbnb spokeswoman Molly Weedn wrote in an email to the Review-Journal.

Tarkanian said she has received emails about her proposal from across the United States and outside the country. She plans on considering the feedback from city residents only.

“I haven’t really appreciated the company doing what it’s doing from the very beginning,” she said of Airbnb. “They are organizing just to take care of themselves.”

Tarkanian said she would be OK with grandfathering in homeowners who have paid the $1,000 fee to acquire the permit to legally rent their home. There are 161 active permits, city staff reports.

“We will be very careful with those who already have one to do everything in the right way for them,” she said.

Contact Michael Scott Davidson at sdavidson@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3861. Follow @davidsonlvrj on Twitter.

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