Group criticizes Chattanooga’s new vacation rental rules

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – Not everyone is singing the praises of Chattanooga’s new rules for short-term vacation rental properties.

The Greater Chattanooga Coalition for Private Property Rights don’t approve.

Gary Wardlaw from the group tells us the new rules are not fair.

He says the city already had rules in place that they did not fully enforce, and that cause the problems.

Wardlaw says “There should be a permitting process along with health/safety inspections and some type oversight if things are not done properly. That was the type of ordinance we had and again it was not handled by the City correctly at all.”

He accuses the Mayor of protecting hotel developers and property owners who supported his campaign.

“Nationwide the hotel industry has lost revenues due to AirBNB/VRBO much like the taxi’s did when Uber came into play. They are pumping lobbying money in to regain their foothold on the travel industry and the administration is taking all in at the expense of actual local Chattanooga Small business owners. With this new legislation only allowing STVR in commercial zones the administration has basically alienated many local buyers trying to do something to build wealth for their family and put it into the field for large corporations and out of town investors..which is what they say they are trying to get rid of.”

The new rules restrict absentee property owners to the commercial zones.

The rules are less stringent on people who live on the property.

In response to Wardlaw’s criticism, city officials remind us that the new rules only apply to new properties.

“All currently permitted STVR property owners were grandfathered in under this legislation. Not a single currently permitted STVR dwelling will be affected by this legislation, which only affects new units, and in fact allows them by right in all commercial districts, and allows homestays in most of the city’s core, regardless of zoning. This legislation was developed over the course of an entire year, and included dozens of meetings with stakeholders including many STVR owners and all members of city council. “– Chris Anderson.


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