Orange Beach City Council members have voted to pass an ordinance that will ban short-term rentals in residential areas of the city.
The council met Tuesday evening to discuss and vote on the ordinance. According to WPMI, city leaders made their decision in front of a packed house. In attendance were a number of realtors and homeowners who were interested in the ordinance.
Under the new ordinance, residents are still able to rent out a room or home on sites such as Airbnb or VRBO (Vacation Rentals By Owner), but only if it’s for 14 or more days at a time. The new ordinance does not affect condo owners or any properties outside of a residential zone.
Orange Beach now begins the process of creating a new “Vacation Rental” license which will allow homeowners to rent their own properties for 14 days or longer.
Homeowners who already have the current short-term rental license will be grandfathered in but will be required to purchase a new license when their current one expires. Each license will cost around 500 dollars each year.
Officials say they’re passing this ordinance as a safety measure and as a response to complaints from residents of the city; citing criminal activity, noise complaints, trash, and overflow parking.
Some residents believe that the city is just looking for more sales tax revenue from condo rentals, and that this ordinance will prohibit some economic growth for the city.
In 2017, Gulf Shores residents, Orange Beach’s next door neighbors, made $4.9 million and brought 27,700 guests into the coastal town using Airbnb, a short-term vacation rental company.
Orange Beach is not the only Alabama city to make such a ban. In September, Mountain Brook banned all rentals less than 30 days.