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North Las Vegas may impose fees, restrictions on short-term rentals

Updated September 11, 2020 - 1:29 pm

North Las Vegas may soon put restrictions on short-term rentals, such as those on Airbnb.

After a lengthy discussion, the Planning Commission voted Wednesday in favor of an ordinance that would require short-term rental property owners to apply for a conditional use permit and business license.

The vote was 4-2 with Commissioners Kenneth Kraft, George Warner, Al Greer and Justin Berrett voting in favor, and Steve Shoaff and Jane Armstrong voting no.

The ordinance will not be official until approved by the City Council.

Currently, short-term rentals are not allowed in North Las Vegas. But city staffers found there were about 350 rentals operating in city limits, according to city documents.

On Airbnb, there appears to be slightly more than a dozen properties for rent ranging from $28 for a private room to $312 a night to rent an entire home.

Armstrong was concerned the ordinance lacks the ability for enforcement and that fees generated by it wouldn’t go to supporting staff to enforce it.

“I think we have a real problem with Airbnbs in North Las Vegas, and I’d hate to see it add to the problem,” Armstrong said. “I appreciate what you guys are trying to do, but it’s not enforceable.”

Shoaff echoed similar concerns around enforcement.

Land Development and Community Services Director Marc Jordan said the ordinance is a good start to set regulations on short-term rentals and that he was not aware of any complaints.

“I know your concerns, and I’m sure between now and then we can talk to the city attorney’s office and talk to them if there are other codes in the municipal code about how we can use those to enforce any violations of these provisions,” he said.

However, Airbnb would not give staff a listing of rental properties in North Las Vegas, Jordan said at the meeting. Later, Principal Planner Amy Michaels said it would be difficult for staff to determine where the properties are by using room tax records.

Both make it hard for the city to enforce the ordinance.

“I think this is a step in the right direction,” Berrett said. “This is definitely a positive thing I think we should support.”

A proposal to include an enforcement amendment and the amount of the business license fee will come before the council, according to Jordan.

The ordinance stipulates that noise-monitoring equipment will be installed and that there must also be a 660-foot separation from other short-term rentals, although the distance requirement can be waived if an applicant can prove there is an adequate barrier.

Those who register during the ordinance’s 60-day grace period will be grandfathered in and will not have to comply with the distance requirement, according to city documents.

Short-term rentals will not be allowed in master-planned communities like Aliante, Valley Vista and The Villages of Tule Springs.

Las Vegas and Henderson already have short-term rental ordinances.

Contact Alex Chhith at achhith@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0290. Follow @alexchhith on Twitter.

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