DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — It was a packed house and emotional debate at Thursday’s planning commission meeting over a new proposal that would regulate short-term rentals, like Airbnb’s.
The city of Dothan has gotten more than 200 complaints about disruptive behavior and loud noise all coming from rented Airbnbs in residential areas.
The planning staff had two options on the table to decide between the regulations.
“The first option was that they would be of permitted use but would be subject to a laundry list of items that they would have to comply with and that agreement would be attached to their business license,” Dothan’s Department Of Planning And Development Director, Todd McDonald says. “The second option is that if you’re in a single-family area, the approval would happen from the board of zoning adjustment after a public notification process.”
Many citizens who attended the meeting want them regulated, and some want them banned altogether, but at least one member of planning development says the service provides growth for Dothan.
“It’s going to happen, if we stop it we will kill a lot of real estate in this area and for Dothan to grow you’ve got to have investors and it’s very likely now,” Dothan Planning Development, Derek Preston said. “That’s what we are talking about is we’ve got to have some regulations. But it’s here and it’s going to stay.”
In the end, the planning commission decided on the option with more regulation. Anyone hosting an Airbnb would be required to get a business license and that would require approval from the board of zoning adjustment.
Wednesday’s meeting was not the final decision on what the city plans to do for these rentals.
The planning committee simply voted on a recommendation that will be sent to the city commission where the plans will be finalized.