By Lauren Martinez
LAS VEGAS, Nevada (KVVU) — On Thursday night, the public weighed in on what regulations should look like for short-term rentals in unincorporated Clark County with a summer deadline looming.
Well over 100 people attended a town hall hosted by Commissioner Justin Jones at Desert Breeze Community Center.
County Lawmakers are gathering public input on a state law that will require the county to allow short-term rentals in unincorporated Clark County. The deadline to enact regulations start July 1st.
Some of the regulations include the minimum distance between short-term rentals, limits on the number of guests and number of permits a person may hold.
Many people pointed to regulations already in place set by Henderson, City of Las Vegas and North Las Vegas.
Airbnb host Neiw Anuson said if the county tries to restrict the number of permits each host is able to have, that will push hosts underground.
“When you restrict more things you’re going to force more people undergrown. When you force more people underground that’s where usually the bad hosts are going to. My suggestion is to give as many permits as possible, use the money from the permits to crack down on the illegal hosts and the bad hosts,” Anuson said.
During a town hall meeting hosted by Commissioner Ross Miller on Tuesday, a state lawmaker said there are 10,000 illegal short-term rentals in Southern Nevada.
A short-term rental host by the name of Benjamin spoke and said every Airbnb host is a homeowner and went onto say “I don’t see any of you complainers out there ready to give $1,500 a year for a business license to do this and make the city $400 million.”
Tempers then flared between that host and an unknown resident.
The resident said “it’s not about the money- it’s about neighborhoods,” while the short-term rental host said “every county needs money to live – and we’re willing to give the county that money.” At one point Commissioner Jones stepped in to break the heated argument up.
Johnny Dortch feels the the rules will be litigated by homeowners.
“My biggest concern moving forward is that they institute nonsensical laws that are going to basically – by virtually making it so all of us go underground again,” Dortch said.
Commissioner Jones addressed enforcement and that he’s been engaged to issues.
“Chief Anderson and I are the ones who wrote the ordinance originally to try and crack down and increase the enforcement authority as a result from the District Attorney’s Office saying that we couldn’t do it- that’s why we went up to the legislature so I’ve been out there in the neighborhood many times,” Commissioner Jones.
Chief Jim Anderson of Code Enforcement addressed contacting his office.
“So our office is open six days a week, we are open on Saturdays, we take complaints on Saturdays, and my short-term rental team works on Saturdays for code enforcement because that’s when we need to be out there and so we do respond. Once we get the complaint, if you turn it into us, it’s not a one time response where we go and see if we can find it and if we don’t we leave. We keep that open and active because there’s evidence, there’s advertisment there’s lots of things that we do, and then we continue to keep that case open until we get compliance so yes we’ve had a case open a couple of years incase it is challenging, but we don’t stop,” Anderson said.
The county said there may be additional public meetings in the months ahead.
County officials say one way to provide input is to submit an email at STRComment@ClarkCountyNV.gov.
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