Area commission chairs push for stricter short-term rental regulations in Columbus – 10TV

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The ultimate goal is to make the communities where these short-term rental properties are located safer.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Leaders in several Columbus neighborhoods are coming together to call for more restrictions and regulations when it comes to short-term rentals throughout the city. 

Kate Curry-Da-Souza, chair of the Near East Area Commission, said the four-page proposal will soon be presented to the Columbus City Council. The ultimate goal is to make the communities where these short-term rental properties are located safer.

“If we’re having murders and shootings that are happening at short-term rentals, I think we’re beyond the point of thinking that the legislation that we currently have is working,” Curry-Da-Souza said.

A year ago this month, man was shot and killed near Franklin Park.

The shooting happened at the 1600 block of Oak Street at a rental property that was later determined to be operating illegally.

“A neighbor found the person who had been murdered in the doorway around 9 a.m.,” Curry-Da-Souza said.

Curry-Da-Souza said she’s heard from residents throughout her community that they’ve had enough.

“This was sort of the tipping point. We’ve been having problems with party homes and short-term rentals being utilized as long gathering areas even during COVID, even during lockdowns,” Curry-Da-Souza said.

Curry-Da-Souza said according to license information, there’s nearly 1,700 short-term rental properties in the city.

“But if you look online, you can find almost double that number for places that are operating and often, they’re just not licensed through the city and so I think that stricter enforcement of the short-term rentals is important,” Curry-Da-Souza said.

Curry-Da-Souza said she worked on this proposal in partnership with the chairs of the Far East and University area commissions.

Some of the new rules they’d like to see enforced include a limit on the number of short-term rentals in a given area, higher licensing fees for these properties, and postcards being distributed to neighbors with information about the rental management and owners.

Curry-Da-Souza added its been a couple years since Columbus City Council approved stricter short-term rental rules, and its now time to move forward with additional regulations.

“If residents are coming to the point where we have a four-page proposal for the city of Columbus, we really hope that we’re going to be able to have that move forward,” Curry-Da-Souza said.

The area commission chairs plan to bring this proposal to the city council members at some point over the next few weeks.

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