City of Charlotte drops proposed regulations on short term rental properties

CHARLOTTE — The city of Charlotte said it will be dropping attempts to regulate short-term rentals, like Airbnb properties, after a ruling from the state’s highest court.

Channel 9 has covered issues related to short-term rentals in Charlotte for years. Some of the complaints were reports of parties, homicides, scams and neighborhood complaints, and many have asked city council members like Dimple Ajmera to do something about it.

“The city is trying to address the concerns that have been raised by our residents around late-night parties, noise, traffic while also ensuring we are protecting our taxpayers legally,” Ajmera said.

Charlotte city council was set to discuss adding regulations to the city’s Unified Development Ordinance, but for now, councilmembers are holding off.

They said the decision was made after the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled against the city of Wilmington last week in a lawsuit over its short-term rental regulations.

Representatives for the city told Channel 9 that Wilmington could appeal the ruling, further complicating what rules will be upheld.

The North Carolina General Assembly said it is set to discuss regulations for short-term rentals.

City leaders said it is unclear what rules could legally be held up, which can be frustrating because community members are asking them to do something now.

“It’s like building a plane while you’re flying. That’s what it feels like currently,” Ajmera said. “We are waiting on additional guidance from our city attorney.”

Ajmera said if and when the city is able to create regulations, leaders were looking to stick a balance that addresses neighbors’ concerns without hindering short-term rental owners.

“There needs to be a balance where we are creating economic opportunities for our residents but at the same time addressing the quality of life concerns. And that balance is very hard, as you can see,” Ajmera said.

The city’s Unified Development Ordinance is a living document, so it can be updated with regulations whenever there is more legal clarity. North Carolina lawmakers are looking at regulations, so that could impact anything the city would want to do locally.

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