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Council to address vacation home rentals

Council may bar those without proper licenses from listing properties
 Posted: 2:00 AM September 16, 2013

The Ashland City Council will consider whether to make it illegal to advertise a home to tourists for short stays without land-use approval, a business license and registration to pay city hotel taxes.

The council will take up the issue during a meeting that starts at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 17, in the Ashland Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main St.

An increasing number of residents are offering their homes to tourists for short stays, aided by a proliferation of websites that connect homeowners with travelers.

However, many Ashland homeowners are renting out their homes illegally. Short-term vacation rentals are not allowed in single-family zoned neighborhoods. They are allowed in multifamily zoned neighborhoods if various conditions are met.

Councilors will also consider whether to require fire inspections before homes can be rented out for short stays.

The city budgeted money this year for a code compliance officer whose duties include cracking down on illegal vacation rentals.

Some residents have argued that vacation rentals provide much-needed income for homeowners, but others have said that short-term rentals decrease the stock of regular rental housing and can disrupt neighborhoods.

In other business Tuesday, councilors will hear a report that a ban on persistent lawbreakers downtown has helped reduce calls to police there.

Councilors also will discuss a new franchise agreement with Recology Ashland Sanitary Service that could affect the future of the Recycle Center on Water Street and increase some garbage and recycling rates.

For a complete list of agenda items and details on each, see www.ashland.or.us/Page.asp?NavID=15805.

Staff reporter Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-479-8199 or vlaldous@yahoo.com.


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