ITHACA, N.Y. — As city officials mull regulations for short-term rentals in Ithaca, they have launched a webpage dedicated to hosting resources for those interested in learning more about the topic as the window for feedback on the draft regulations remains open.
The webpage (viewable here) includes links to previous presentations from city officials on the potential regulations for short-term rentals being mulled, like Airbnb or other similar services, as well as materials gathered during feedback sessions or public comment. It also features a link for more feedback to be submitted.
Residents got their first look at potential regulations at an open house/Q&A-style event in November. The event’s attendees, many of whom stated they operate short-term rentals, were largely opposed to any of the possible regulations discussed, though none have been formally proposed or introduced as the city gathers more feedback.
Others have blamed the proliferation of Airbnbs and similar listings for hurting the local housing market by taking places that could otherwise be used by permanent residents out of rotation. City officials are acting with that in mind, though at the meeting in November, Deputy Director of Economic Development Tom Knipe acknowledged that the exact nature of short-term rentals’ impact on the housing market is unclear.
“There is a strong market for short-term rentals in Ithaca, with several hundred active listings on Airbnb and other platforms,” reads the city’s page. “The city is seeking to take a balanced approach that would help preserve housing supply and affordability in the long-term rental and home ownership markets while allowing residents to earn income by renting out their primary residence. The city also wants to make sure to balance the potential positive and negative impacts of short-term rentals (e.g., increasing lodging supply during peak demand periods, health and safety concerns).”