- Associated Press - Sunday, February 19, 2017

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A measure is moving through the Utah legislature to let homeowners use their residences for nightly and short-term rentals through websites such as Airbnb.

The bill approved by a House committee would ban cities from prohibiting short-term rentals where the homeowner lives on site, the Spectrum reported (https://bit.ly/2mcv3Ik).

Cities would still be able to ban or regulate short-term rentals of whole properties, but could not use Airbnb or similar websites to identify people who are renting rooms.

“This, to me, is a very reasonable approach to this bill,” said the bill’s Republican sponsor, Rep. John Knotwell of Herriman.

Many local government officials from cities like St. George oppose the bill.

Cameron Diehl of the Utah League of Cities and Towns said the bill leaves local governments in charge of enforcement and would have starkly contrasting impacts on neighborhoods. “We feel like the government closest to the people govern best,” he said.

Republican Jon Stanard of St. George was the only member of the 14-person House Business and Labor Committee to vote against moving the measure to the full floor.

St. George Mayor Jon Pike said the measure would affect tourist-heavy communities unequally.

“We believe it puts neighborhoods in conflict more than they already are,” he said. “I’ve had that in my own neighborhood, and it’s difficult. It’s not fun.”

Knotwell says he’s working with local officials to address their concerns.

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Information from: The Spectrum, https://www.thespectrum.com


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