Bexley City Council is considering legislation that would place restrictions on short-term rental services, such as Airbnb, within the city limits.
Ordinance 11-20 was introduced at council's Feb. 25 meeting and has been scheduled for a third and final reading and council vote March 24.
If approved, it would require homeowners who rent their residences for short-term stays to maintain the house being rented as their principal residence, limit rentals to a combined total of 30 days throughout the year and a maximum of two occupants per bedroom and register with the city for a fee yet to be determined. It also would not allow the rental to be used for parties, events or gatherings in excess of 15 people.
"We have taken from adjacent cities -- the city of Columbus, we looked into what Dublin was doing and Grandview (Heights)," said council member Jessica Saad, chairwoman of council's zoning and development committee, who introduced the ordinance. "That's how we pulled in some of this verbiage."
Mayor Ben Kessler said the ordinance is similar to Columbus' short-term rental law but contains additional restrictions.
"It requires the same thing from Airbnb or another host that Columbus requires so that it will be easy for (participants) to comply with our ordinance," he said. "It's very different from Columbus ... in that you must live in the home, restrictions on time."
Bexley considered an outright ban on short-term rentals in late 2018, but council members said they decided to table the matter for further study and discussion.
Kessler said the ordinance was prompted by incidents in recent years in which short-term-rental tenants held large parties or generated noise and congestion complaints from full-time residents on such streets as Columbia Avenue, Gould Road, Parkview Avenue and near Capital University.
"Every incident we've had, we've learned from and incorporated into this ordinance," Kessler said. "Every time we've had an issue, it's been a nonoccupant renting the property out or a tenant intentionally sublet the property out. I think we've addressed the concern from our community on various points."
Council President Lori Ann Feibel said she and council member Richard Sharp researched the short-term rental issue early last year.
She said this represents a compromise between the rights of property owners and the community at large.
"It's been a real effort," she said. "It's one of those situations where you want to protect the neighbors, but at the same time, you have to respect the rights of owners, so it's a very delicate balance."
Council's March 24 meeting is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. at Bexley City Hall, 2422 E. Main St.