FAYETTEVILLE — The City Council has lowered the density cap on short-term rentals by nearly half.
Council members on Thursday voted 6-0 to reduce the number of homes that operate year-round as short-term rentals to 475. The previous cap was set at 2% of all housing units in the city, which comes out to about 900.
The proposal also removed an exemption for short-term rentals that operate in zoning districts that allow hotels. The council included an emergency clause with the proposal, meaning the changes takes effect immediately.
The council in 2021 adopted regulations that categorize short-term rentals as either Type 1 or Type 2. Type 1 rentals are homes that the owners live in, but sometimes rent out rooms or the entire house to guests when they’re out of town. Type 2 rentals are rented all year, and have no owners living in them.
Thursday’s changes only affect Type 2 rentals.
There are 392 Type 2 rentals currently registered, said Jonathan Curth, the city’s development services director. That means only 83 more could be registered under the new cap.
Councilmember Scott Berna, who serves on the council’s Ordinance Review Committee, said the 475 number was recommended as a way to meet in the middle between those who wanted to cap the number at the current registered level and those who wanted the cap to be more than 500.
Councilmember Sarah Moore said the committee also wants to consider more changes, including how illegal rentals will be penalized.
During public comment, four people spoke in favor of the proposal. Three people – all from Cohobnb Properties – spoke against the ordinance.
Councilmember Holly Hertzberg was absent at Thursday’s meeting.