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Revisions to Hudson’s Ordinance Governing Short-Term Rentals Being Considered by Council
On February 2, 2021, Hudson City Council adopted Ordinance 20-160 establishing a mandatory licensing program for Short Term Rentals (STRs), such as Airbnb, in the City of Hudson. According to the City’s website, the short-rental ordinance was “established to promote the public health, safety and welfare of the city and its residents and balance the diverse interests of the City of Hudson’s short-term rental owners, renters, property owners, and residential communities.”
The ordinance is now being reviewed and evaluated by City Council. NOW is the time to share your thoughts, opinions, suggestions and concerns if this is a matter of importance to you.
Residents, particularly those in the Historic District, have concerns about the ordinance. Increased density due to smaller lot size and the close proximity of homes magnify the impact of noise, traffic, and parking congestion. Additionally, concerns center around the fact that currently STRs do not have to be owner-occupied – potentially resulting in less supervision of activities and less maintenance of properties. Lastly, residents are concerned about the transient nature of the population, the number of guests allowed to stay on the property, the loss of a sense of community and neighborhood, and the ability and availability of city staff to enforce regulations governing STRs.
Proponents of STRs argue that the availability of different housing options for visitors is a plus and that STRs provide an income stream for homeowners. Lastly, there is the matter of owners’ property rights and their right to determine how their property will be used – up to the point that it infringes on their neighbors and their rights.
Studies have shown that short-term rentals have a negative impact on housing stock, prices, and communities. The largest and best-documented potential cost of STRs is the reduced supply of housing to serve as owner-occupied homes as properties shift from local residents to businesses serving travelers. That shift also has been found to hurt local residents by raising housing costs. The Economic Policy Institute published a report, The economic costs and benefits of Airbnb, in January 2019 which discusses these issues.
Hudson’s existing code currently includes the following regulations:
- STR properties must be permitted by the City and renewed annually.
- The Fire Department must inspect sites annually to ensure code compliance.
- Neighbors must be notified by the City of the application to convert a house to a STR, and a period for public input/petition is allowed. The “notice” is made by placing a temporary sign on the property of the proposed short-term rental and soliciting public comment.
- The maximum number of vehicles permitted on an STR site cannot exceed the number that can be garaged on premises plus two that may park in the driveway.
- The maximum number of occupants/guests permitted at a STR cannot exceed two guests per bedroom plus three additional occupants/guests.
- Any rental period under 30 days qualifies as a “short term rental”.
- The property does not need to be owner-occupied.
- The owner must carry mandatory liability insurance.
Visit https://hudson.oh.us/1220/Short-Term-Rentals for more complete and detailed information.
City Council is currently considering the following revisions to its ordinance:
- Changing from a defined maximum number of occupants for short term rentals to compliance with HUD guidelines.
- Deleting/revising the provision that requires the applicant to list all hosting platforms on which the property is advertised.
- Requiring a back-up contact person for the property.
- Eliminating the need to post a sign in the property’s yard when the owner is applying for a STR permit.
- Clarifying specific codes and ordinances that the STR needs to comply with.
- Reviewing the record retention policy regarding renters at a specific STR. Currently, the requirement is four years.
- Clarifying who is responsible when renters cause any noise disturbance, nuisance, drug offenses, or disorderly conduct.
- Considering harsher penalties/fines for violations.
- Reviewing the requirement to display the short-term rental permit prominently in the dwelling.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Email City Council members directly as a group so that all are informed of your position. Provide your concerns and suggestions. If you are aware of resources, links to articles, data that can be used to inform Council’s decision-making process, send those as well. Contact information is provided below:
Beth Bigham – email@example.com
Hal DeSaussure – firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris Foster – email@example.com
Nicole Kowalski – firstname.lastname@example.org
Kate Schlademan – email@example.com
Skylar Sutton – firstname.lastname@example.org
William Wooldredge – email@example.com
Consider speaking at an upcoming City Council meeting. Public comment is not allowed at Council workshops. You can view a list of upcoming City Council meetings, review agendas and minutes, and stay informed by visiting the City Council website at https://www.hudson.oh.us/814/Council-Agendas-Minutes-Videos.
Note that any proposed changes to the current ordinance will be “read” at three consecutive public Council meetings, when public comment is particularly encouraged, and then a final vote on the proposed legislation will take place on the third meeting. This process will take approximately 1-1/2 months since there are two public meetings per month. If this issue is important to you, now is the time to share your views with Council.