- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 8, 2015

OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (AP) - The Ocean Spring Board of Aldermen has adopted an ordinance to regulate the growing business of people renting out homes on a short-term basis and charging higher rates than for monthly renters.

The ordinance will give these businesses a permit, a business license and a tax number so they can begin paying sales tax and room tax.

The ordinance was adopted Tuesday night.

There are between 24 and 29 of the businesses in the city already. The new ordinance caps the number at 35.

Mayor Connie Moran told The Sun Herald (https://bit.ly/1JTOywj ) she was disappointed in the compromise point, but said, “I’m just glad to get something on the books.”

The compromise provides short-term rental owners will take their application before the Planning Commission instead of the Zoning and Adjustment Board.

That was an issue because the zoning board already handles bed-and-breakfast businesses. Also, there are people on the planning commission who are against short-term rentals and are vocal about it.

Planning Commissioner Mary Marr Beckman said such rentals are a commercial endeavor and don’t belong in a neighborhood. She said there’s one across the street from her home and, “I just know it’s not good for our neighborhood.

“We don’t mind yearly rentals, but this coming and going is a different story,” Beckman told aldermen.

Beckman told the aldermen she could be objective, she just didn’t want one in her neighborhood.

Other highlights of the new ordinance”

- When a property is being considered, the neighbors will get certified letters alerting them to the proposal, a sign will be placed in the yard of the property and the proposal will be advertised.

- If the property is in a subdivision with a homeowners association, the association must approve.

- The license is not transferable if the property sells.


Information from: The Sun Herald, https://www.sunherald.com

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