weather icon Clear

Las Vegas City Council split on short-term rental vote

Updated June 21, 2017 - 9:47 pm

The Las Vegas City Council on Wednesday voted 4-3 in favor of passing new regulations for short-term rentals in its borders.

The ordinance includes a $1,000 fee for would-be operators that will give the city greater oversight and create a rigorous approval process for where short-term rentals can go. Outgoing Councilmen Bob Beers, Steve Ross, along with recently reelected Stavros Anthony voted against the measure.

Councilwoman Lois Tarkanian, who has been fighting for stricter regulations on short-term rentals for a decade, said this move was a step in the right direction.

“We know we have not done this as efficiently as we could have in the past,” Tarkanian said.

Council members went back and forth during the three-hour-plus discussion and heard from dozens on both sides of the issue during a public comment period often interrupted by jeers and cheers.

Much of the discussion centered on whether the regulations would alleviate the city’s “party house problem,” or put a regulatory burden on businesses in good standing with the city.

“Party houses are a problem, not short-term rentals,” Beers said.

But Councilman Bob Coffin disagreed, and called short-term rentals the “root of the problem.”

“It’s just a party house wrapped in a different wrapper,” Coffin said.

The new rules will require operators to pay $1,000 to obtain a special-use permit from the city. Tarkanian has said the fee is the most important aspect of the new regulations.

The rules also call for proof of liability insurance coverage for at least $500,000 and a placard displayed on the exterior of each rental unit with 24-hour contact information. Short-term rentals would not be permitted within 660 feet of one another.

City staff said there are 161 licensed short-term rentals in the city’s borders, with hundreds others operating without a license. Of those licensed houses, there are five considered problematic that they are monitoring.

Coffin said those rentals are commercial businesses operating in residential neighborhoods, and that “we just can’t have that.”

Both sides complain

Many of the complaints about short-term rental homes have come from residents in older neighborhoods such as Scotch 80s, located near Rancho Drive and Oakey Boulevard. Because of the proximity to Downtown Las Vegas and the Strip, those areas are seen as prime spots for short-term rentals.

But those residents say renters leave the neighborhoods trashed, and have ruined their sense of community.

Proponents of short-term rentals say they give visitors more options, and many agreed that the party homes should be stamped out. But they said there’s no guarantee special permits would stop the party-house problem because most operators will continue to rent without a license.

Some of those who operate short-term rentals, such as Julie Davies, who has had an application to rent out her downtown condominium since February 2016, said the new regulations will likely cause them to take their businesses elsewhere.

“I’ll probably take my money and my good practices and leave,” Davies said.

Contact Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4638. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Former Nevada Senate leader Kelvin Atkinson sentenced to prison
Former Nevada Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson, who pleaded guilty to misusing campaign funds, was sentenced to 27 months in prison on Thursday, July 18, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trumps Strength is also a Weakness - Video
One of Donald Trump’s greatest strengths — his ability to shape national narratives — is also a great weakness.
Tax the Rich Bus Tour makes a stop in Las Vegas - Video
The Tax the Rich Bus has stopped in Las Vegas as part of its summer tour. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ - Video
Assembly Woman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ to bring the community together to hear about the candidates up for election and for people to gather and have fun.
Democrat Virtual Caucus - Video
Elizabeth Warren visits Las Vegas
Senator Elizabeth Warren made a campaign stop at the East Las Vegas Community Center on Tuesday July 2, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Aaron Ford Speaks About Bill AB431
AB431 is a bill sponsored by Nevada Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson to restore the right to vote for formerly incarcerated individuals. Attorney General Aaron Ford spoke at the AM&E Church in North Las Vegas about the bill, on Monday, July 1, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Right Take: Biden's Racially Questionable Comments
Joe Biden has uttered racially charged statements for years. Now that he’s the frontrunner for the Democrat presidential nomination, he may finally face prolonged scrutiny for them.
Christopher Rufo Discusses Homelessness In The USA - VIDEO
Christopher Rufo discusses homelessness in the United States and how politicians can work to improve conditions for those with drug addictions.
Clark County 2019 Election Results - Video
The 2019 Elections wrap up in Clark County including an upset in the Boulder City Mayor race.
Olivia Diaz talks about her win in Ward 3 - VIDEO
Las Vegas City Councilwoman-elect Olivia Diaz talks about her election win in Ward 3 and what lies ahead for her.
Greene discusses Read by 3 and Opportunity Scholarships - VIDEO
The Nevada Legislative Session is over and the results are mixed for Nevada students, according to Tom Greene, Senior regional legislative director, Excel in Ed in Action.
Bernie Sanders visits Las Vegas
Sen. Bernie Sanders made a stop at Roy W. Martin middle school on Thursday, during his campaign trail.
Kamala Harris campaigns in Las Vegas
Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris castigated President Donald Trump’s merit-based immigration plan, saying it was “short-sighted” and overlooked the cultural significance of family, during a campaign stop in Las Vegas. “We cannot allow people to start parsing and pointing fingers and creating hierarchies among immigrants,” Harris told Asian Pacific Islander leaders at a Chinatown restaurant, one of two appearances she made Thursday.
The Right Take New Education Funding Plan - VIDEO
On Monday, Senate Education Committee chair Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas, released a new education funding formula. For years, many Democrat politicians have criticized the current education funding formula, called the Nevada Plan. They claim it’s old and outdated. Their biggest beef is that it doesn’t allocate more money for students who are English Language Learners or live in poverty. The theory is that it’s harder to educate those students and so they need additional services, which costs additional money.
Kamala Harris campaigns in Nevada
California Senator Kamala Harris meets with One APIA Nevada, a nonprofit organization that advocates for policies empowering Asian Pacific Islander Nevadans. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ben Carson talks housing (Audio only)
Ben Carson discusses housing with the Review-Journal editorial board on Thursday. (Audio only)
Ben Carson visits the RJ (Full Audio Only)
Ben Carson discusses housing with the Review-Journal editorial board on Thursday. (Audio only)
Former Vice President Joe Biden campaigns in Nevada
After campaigning at the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 16 in Henderson, former Vice President Joe Biden spoke with the Review-Journal.
Student serenades Mayor Carolyn Goodman at swearing in
Students from the school she founded, The Meadows School, serenaded Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman during a swearing in ceremony for her third and final term. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Al Gore Speaks At UNLV About Climate Change - Video
Former Vice President of the United States Al Gore talks to an audience at UNLV about the effects of Climate change and how to switch to renewable sources of energy.
Forum on Wages and Working People Highlights - VIDEO
Presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren, Beto O'Rourke, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Julian Castro, and John Hickenlooper speak in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Nevada Politics Today Valerie Weber - VIDEO
Valerie Weber sits down with Victor Joecks to discuss her policies and why she is running for Ward 2 of the Las Vegas City Council.
Las Vegas Council welcomes 3 new members

Election victories last month by Brian Knudsen (Ward 1), Victoria Seaman (Ward 2) and Olivia Diaz (Ward 3) have altered the makeup of the Las Vegas City Council.