For 20 years now, we’ve heard about the benefits to Weston if only people could rent houses or apartments to tourists. That’s when the first of many proposals was brought to the Weston Board of Aldermen. That one would have turned small houses dotted around Weston into mini-hotels. Every few years, someone else brings in a proposal, and each time, the board at the time, has turned them down.
During the last two years, bills have been introduced in the legislature that would take away cities’ rights to regulate short-term rentals. They are supported by some Missouri residents, but the real money is coming from the on-line advertising platforms that make millions each year from the business of vacation rentals.
To counter those efforts and to add clarity to the issue, the Weston Board of Aldermen Monday added language to several city ordinances banning whole-house, short term rentals.
Anyone, anywhere in the city can have an in-house short term rental, by conforming to the Bed & Breakfast ordinance. This continues the emphasis in Weston on housing for residents, while still making it possible to draw income from your property in a creative way.
Around the world, cities are grappling with housing shortages, fueled by the rise of whole-house vacation rentals.
A recent study by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (admittedly not a disinterested group) shows that 81 percent of Airbnb’s U.S. revenue comes from whole-unit rentals. The review covered 13 of the nation’s largest markets: Austin, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New Orleans, New York, Oahu, Portland, OR, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.
“Once upon a time Airbnb might have simply been a home sharing company, but this analysis shows that’s just a fairytale now,” said AHLA President and Chief Executive Officer Katherine Lugar.
What Weston is trying to do, is preserve housing for residential use, for people who want to live here.
I used to be concerned with what people might do when they stayed here, but now I’m more concerned with the nights a whole-house, short term rental is empty. That is likely to be four to five nights per week. What does that do to the fabric of a neighborhood? Nothing good.
Below is an exerpt from Beth's editorial from this week. The entire editorial may be found in this week's print copy of the Weston Chronicle