ACC commissioners move ahead on vacation rental regulations
Regulations on short-term vacation rentals like AirBnBs and VRBOs are likely coming to Athens-Clarke County, after a unanimous vote from the ACC commission on Tuesday.
Affordable housing advocates point to short-term vacation rentals as one of many factors in the county’s growing housing shortage. When property owners elect to rent out housing as short-term rentals, that property is effectively removed from the rental market for residents.
Under a proposal drafted by the commission’s Government Operations Committee, short-term vacation rentals in commercial areas, like downtown Athens, could continue to operate full time.
Homeowners in single-family residential neighborhoods could also periodically rent out their house for a short-term vacation rental, although they couldn’t use the property as a full-time vacation rental. Those homeowners would also have to pay an occupation tax, just like other home-based businesses are supposed to.
The new regulations will not go into effect immediately, however. Tuesday’s vote didn’t change any of the county’s ordinances; it only directs the county’s Planning Commission, along with ACC staff, to draft an ordinance that will go back to commissioners for final approval.