Those who want to offer short-term rentals of their properties via such services as Airbnb would be required to register with the city of Dublin if City Council approves a proposed ordinance Jan. 6.
According to a Nov. 25 memo to council members, the ordinance would limit short-term rentals to 14 nights total in a calendar year.
Property owners who want to rent their properties on a short-term basis would have to register online with the city and submit a form prior to each rental.
Dublin's planning director would have the authority to inspect short-term rental units.
Violation of city code would be categorized as an unclassified misdemeanor punishable with a $250 fine for the first offense. Subsequent offenses would be considered third-degree misdemeanors punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a fine up to $500 or both. However, city officials said their intent with any repeat offenders would be to suspend enforcement of jail time in order to achieve compliance with the ordinance.
Jennifer Readler, Dublin's law director, said the proposed legislation is a good balance between allowing such rentals while preserving the character of Dublin neighborhoods. Columbus also requires registration for short-term rental hosts, and Upper Arlington banned short-term rentals, she said.
Several residents discussed concerns about increased traffic and the number of parked cars in relation to short-term rentals during a community development meeting Nov. 6, Readler said.
She said city officials decided to be proactive if in the event the marketplace should become more popular in Dublin.
Property owners would be able to register with the city via an online form, Readler said.
"We're going to try to make it as easy as possible," she said.
Property owners also would have to pay the city's bed tax on the short short-term rentals, Readler said. Upon registering with the city, property owners would get a letter from the city's finance department notifying them of bed tax requirements, she said.
The bed tax is 6% of the cost of a room, said Scott Dring, Dublin Convention & Visitors Bureau executive director.
While short-term rentals such as Airbnb are popular in Columbus, in Dublin and other suburban communities the service is not as prevalent, Dring said.
He said he applauds the city for proposing the ordinance to ensure short-term rentals are safe for visitors and residents.
"It's a great step," he said.
Aisha Khan, a Dublin resident who has been an Airbnb host for about a year and a half, said she views the proposed ordinance something akin to "bullying." She said hosts might not adhere to the restrictions, if the ordinance would be approved.
"People are going to do what they want to do," she said.
As a single mother, Khan said, she uses Airbnb and ride-service Uber to supplement her income.
"It's very easy money," she said.
Once she gained "superhost" status on Airbnb -- a designation awarded to hosts who meet certain criteria including positive guest ratings -- Khan said she became very busy, booking short-term rentals for as many as 15 to 17 days in a month. Now, she said, she tries to book fewer.
Airbnb business picks up in Dublin during the summer as people look for rooms while attending events, driving through the area or meeting for job interviews, Khan said.