A proposed ordinance would prohibit residences to be used as "nonhosted" short-term rental businesses for a period of four months in Grandview Heights.
The four-month period would give city officials time to consider the best way to regulate short-term rentals in residential districts and whether that should include a permanent ban on the operations, said City Council member Anthony Panzera, the legislation's sponsor.
Nonhosted short-term rentals refers to those homes in which the permanent resident, owner or lessee does not stay on site while the property is being rented for a short-term stay, he said.
"A short-term rental is really a commercial use, not a residential use," Panzera said.
The city is grappling with how to address the impact such uses may have "on the character and tranquility" of a residential neighborhood and on the community as a whole, he said.
The issue came to the forefront in May after residents who live near a Norton Avenue home used as an Airbnb rental attended a council meeting to voice their concerns.
The residents said the house often appears to serve as a party house, resulting in excessive noise and parking spaces occupied by people visiting the house.
City code does not specify whether a short-term rental may be a permitted or conditional use in any of Grandview's residential districts.
"So there's a huge gray area where you could say since it's not specifically permitted, it shouldn't be allowed, but you could also say since it's not specifically prohibited, it is permitted," Panzera said.
Short-term rental businesses already in place would be allowed to operate during the four-month period but would be required to register with the city within 30 days if the ordinance is approved, he said.
"It's understandable that an existing short-term rental operation would need some time to wind down their business or fulfill the reservation agreements they may have already made with customers," Panzera said.
The four-month prohibition period set by the ordinance would take the issue into the new year, when Grandview will have a new mayor and, depending on the results of the November election, two or three new council members, he said.
The provisions of the ordinance would end after the four-month period if council takes no other action, Panzera said.
As a result, "council will be forced to continue discussion of this legislative item and its future" and come to a final conclusion about short-term rentals, he said.
Along with Panzera's ordinance, legislation to require short-term rental businesses to register with the city that council member Steve Reynolds introduced July 1 is still on the table.
Reynolds' ordinance was given a second reading at council's Sept. 3 meeting.
"Unfortunately, we're just about where I feared we would be," Reynolds said. "We're still talking about this issue with no solution in sight" for addressing the concerns the Norton Avenue residents raised.
His proposal to require short-term rental operators to register with the city was designed as "a first step" in the process to determine what type of regulations should be adopted, he said.
"If my legislation had been able to proceed and we held mid-month meetings during the summer, it could have been given a third reading and passed on the first meeting in August, and it would be in force by now," Reynolds said. "At least we would have the existing short-term rental properties identified, and that would help us consider the impact they're having on the community.
"I'm not in the habit of quoting (U.S. Gen. George) Patton, but as he said, 'A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week,' " Reynolds said. "A halfway moratorium just doesn't seem to make sense."
Reynolds' call for simply registering short-term rental properties "does nothing to address the actual issues that have been raised," Panzera said.
Panzera's ordinance received a first reading Sept. 3 and was assigned to council's planning and administration committee for review.