Town Hall Meeting to Discuss Home Sharing on April 7th
There will be a neighborhood town hall meeting Saturday, April 7th at 4:00 p.m. at the Overholser Carriage House to discuss issues related to Oklahoma City’s proposed home-sharing ordinance, and potential impact on Heritage Hills.
Airbnb, Vrbo and other web-based rental platforms have created an active on-line market for short term rentals (STRs) of apartments, condos, duplexes and single family homes all over the country, including Oklahoma City and our neighborhood.
Current Oklahoma City Municipal Code 59-8200 states that “Residential use unit classifications include the occupancy of living accommodations on a non-transient basis and shall specifically exclude those providing 24-hour hospital care and those providing forced residence, including detention and correctional facilities.”
Because of the development of the various web-based rental platforms, the City of Oklahoma City is considering a draft ordinance that proposes creation of a new use unit called "Lodging Accommodations: Home Sharing" which would apply to all zoning districts that permit Single-family Residential use. Home Sharing would be permitted if four conditions are met: 1. Rental of the entire home or bedroom(s) does not exceed 30 consecutive days per renter. 2. If 5 or more bedrooms are rented the owner must comply with all building and fire codes. 3. The owner must obtain a City license (fee est $25 per year). 4. All fees and taxes must be collected and paid (including lodging and sales taxes, which airbnb will collect and remit to the City).
Residents of Heritage Hills and other single family neighborhoods have expressed concerns about investors renting houses, renters creating unwanted activity, on-street parking, noise, parties, and damage to homes. Some people feel that rentals will depreciate property values. Others fear that investors will drive prices up artificially. City officials have expressed receptiveness to input from neighborhoods, but hope that neighborhoods will sort out their collective wishes to enable public action to be as constructive as possible.
HPI has created a committee to consider the many issues raised by this proposed ordinance and report back with recommendations to the Board. Viki Tracey heads up this committee, which met on March 12 and voted to call a Town Hall Meeting for residents of Heritage Hills to discuss the implications of the ordinance and how the neighborhood (and HPI as its representative) should respond.
The HPI Board met on Tuesday, March 20 and discussed the proposed ordinance briefly. To gauge the sentiment of the Board, President Bill Carey asked for a vote on three questions: (1) How many members support the ordinance the way it has been proposed? No hands were raised. (2) How many members would like to see short term rentals prohibited in Heritage Hills? Almost all hands were raised. (3) How many members would be receptive to an amendment of the proposed ordinance that would provide limits to be developed by our neighborhood on how STRs would be allowed in Heritage Hills? There was significant interest expressed in this. The sense of the meeting was that much more discussion would be required and that City officials should be asked to slow the process down so this could happen. The HPI Board hopes that there will be a large neighborhood turnout for the April 7th Town Hall Meeting, so that the feelings among neighbors can be more thoroughly explored.
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