RAPID CITY, S.D. — Despite some public opposition, a group of Rapid City officials has given preliminary approval to a set of regulations for the growing cottage industry of home sharing.
The Rapid City Planning Commission on Thursday approved the proposed regulations for services provided by websites such as Airbnb, the Rapid City Journal (http://bit.ly/2cqTXyC ) reported. Another city committee will evaluate the regulations before the full council takes them up on Oct. 3.
The websites allow people to make extra income by renting out extra rooms in their homes, or in some cases the entire home, to visitors looking for an alternative to hotels. But city officials have said the short-term rentals have become an issue in the community that’s surrounded by tourist attractions.
The proposed regulations include a $250 fee and require property owners who act as short-term landlords to register with the city and provide officials with property and inspection records. Property owners who rent rooms for fewer than 14 days per year or for more than a month to the same person would be exempted.
Jamin Hübner, who is among the people who spoke against the regulations at the planning commission meeting, said the ability of Airbnb customers to post a public review brings a level of regulation that the government can’t match.
“If there is a pillow out of place, if there is something unexpected, if they feel unsafe they are going to say about it publicly,” Hübner said. “That is a service of regulation that no board could ever offer, that is far exceeding what any city council could do.”
Information from: Rapid City Journal, http://www.rapidcityjournal.com