Arlington mulls new regulations for short-term rentals

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The Arlington City Council is one step closer to regulating the growing number of short-term rentals.

It’s a hot-button issue for many who see short-term rentals as a moneymaking opportunity and others who fear a revolving door of bad neighbors.

The mayor on Tuesday said the city has heard hours of resident feedback on both sides and want to make sure they craft an ordinance that is fair for the city’s 400 short-term rental operators.

Some of the issues that came up are if any fees should be charged for a short-term rental permit, the duration of the permit before a homeowner has to reapply, how many citations would result in non-renewal, and whether or not to restrict short-term rentals to certain areas like downtown or the Entertainment District.

“We, as a council, are trying to put our neighborhoods first, but still allowing short-term rentals that have good operators to be able to operate in our city,” said Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams.

“For me, everything is a case by case,” said resident Linda Read. “I try not to generalize about people’s behavior or anything like that.”

Part of the issue with short-term rentals is the unique nature of tourism in Arlington, which is centered around sporting events, concerts and theme parks.

Moving forward, the city will soon put out a notice about a stakeholders meeting which will essentially be a town hall to hear from people on both sides of the issue. They hope to have an ordinance drafted by that point so they can get feedback.