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Las Vegas short-term rental ban fizzles in city council

The Las Vegas City Council appears to be changing course from a proposed city-wide ban on short-term rentals.

City staff on Nov. 7 presented the council with two proposed changes to city code that regulates room rentals for fewer than 30 days. The rentals, often facilitated through home-sharing platforms like Airbnb, have drawn scrutiny for operating in residential neighborhoods.

One proposal would end applicants’ ability to request waivers from existing rules, which require short-term rentals in neighborhoods to be owner-occupied, have three bedrooms or less and be at least 660 feet from any other rental.

“We didn’t want more than one short-term rental per block, essentially,” city Planning Director Robert Summerfield said.

The other would allow for denser concentrations of short-term rentals at multifamily housing developments, such as condominiums. The number of short-term rentals would be limited to no more than 5 percent of the total homes in the development.

Councilman Bob Coffin said creating stricter rules for short-term rentals would be more effective than an outright ban, a strategy employed in all other jurisdictions in the Las Vegas Valley.

“You can’t regulate what’s illegal,” he said.

Summerfield said he plans to bring both the bills back to the council for discussion in December. Changes in rules would not apply to anyone who has already submitted an application to the city to operate a short-term rental.

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

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly described one of the proposed amendments to city laws regarding short-term rentals.

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