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Columbia Planning and Zoning Commission discusses short-term rental regulations


The Columbia Planning and Zoning Commission met Thursday night for a work session regarding short-term rental regulations within the city.

Commission members said its plans are to add regulations to short-term rental properties because of the state of housing in Columbia. Members of the commission said too many properties are being taken over by Air BNB owners looking to make money, and adding these regulations could change this.

Matthew Spence, an owner of an Air BNB, said he and his wife got into the business five years ago before the regulations for short-term rentals were being considered. For this reason, Spence said he does not support the now-proposed regulations.

"So, to come in and regulate it now and tell me that you know, I've got to sell my property or or do something different, I mean I don't think that's fair," Spence said.

As part of the proposal, commissioners want to create tiers that adds certain criteria owners would have to follow. One of those tiers would only allow owners to rent out their properties for 30 days out of the year. One commissioner noted she didn't think owners would follow this rule because the amount of steps taken would not be worth their time. However, others supported the idea.

The commission also presented results from a survey taken by community members in order for the commission to gauge the public's opinion about short term rentals. This comes after the commission submitted another ordinance in December after a proposal was struck down in 2020.

The topic has been discussed in the city for years.

Results from the “inclusive” survey indicate that 88 of 434 respondents offer short-term rentals. “Inclusive survey” means results include residents and nonresidents.

A majority of respondents do not support limitations on the location of short-term rentals, limitations of short-term rental licenses or stipulating the number of days it can be rented.

Spence said he is in support of some regulations, but that they should be made on a need-to-be basis.

"Deal with that property or property owner, don't make blanket regulations that will effect everyone," Spence said.

More than half of respondents do support having minimum stands for properties and the preservation of affordable housing within the city.

View the results of the survey below.

The commission will meet with the City Council on Monday, but a decision will not be made.

Article Topic Follows: Columbia

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Nia Hinson


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