City Commission, Fiscal Court looking at regulations for short term rental properties – Richmond Register

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Amid a rapidly expanding market for short term rental, the city and county are looking into regulations for short term rental properties.

The Richmond City Commission heard the first reading of ordinance 24-02, which is in regards to creating regulations for short term rentals.

The county has also been looking at its own regulations. In recent Madison County Fiscal Court meetings, issues with an Airbnb on Kentucky River Road has residents in that area upset with how some occupants have treated that area.

“Last February, there was a wreck at the bottom of the hill where vehicles had to be towed out,” resident Stephanie Adkins said during the Dec. 19 Madison County Fiscal Court meeting.

She told the court about several close calls with head on collisions due to people not observing the 25 mile per hour speed limit. She also brought the court several signatures in petition form to the December meeting.

Adkins returned to Fiscal Court on Jan. 9 to follow up on the discussion.

Judge Executive Reagan Taylor told Adkins that while no follow up discussions have taken place since that meeting on Dec. 19, but the fiscal court does plan on having those discussions soon.

Meanwhile, in city commission, ordinance 24-02 is a regulatory policy that involves the following:

Annual permitting of AirBnB and short-term rentals.

A regulatory fee they must have a business license and be on the roles paying the transient property taxes.

Puts in place numerous safety measures so that they are compliant with all fire codes.

Emergency exits.

No more than two people per bedroom.

The body of ordinance 24-02 will be posted to the city of Richmond’s website.

On the Fiscal Court end, as mentioned in the Jan. 9 meeting, no further discussions have taken place but it is something that the county is looking into.

This issue largely stems from Airbnb not automatically remitting transient taxes.

“Hosts may need to manually collect and remit occupancy taxes in other jurisdictions and in certain listed jurisdictions where Airbnb does not collect all applicable occupancy taxes,” Airbnb’s website says.

VRBO is automatically remitting that to municipalities while Airbnb as stated in the quote above, has left that up to the owner in areas where there aren’t regulations for that.

Nearby Lexington has also had to deal with the Airbnb issue as well. The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council passed updates to the Code of Ordinances as well as Zoning Ordinances in July of last year to clearly define short term rentals and how those types of businesses will operate.

Georgetown, located in Scott County, also passed similar laws in 2022.

You can watch the meeting where the commission discusses short term rentals on the city’s YouTube channel and you can watch Fiscal Court replays on the county’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.

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