Short-term rental owners band together over proposed changes in Lexington

Short-term rental owners band together over proposed changes in Lexington
Published: Nov. 29, 2022 at 10:25 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A Special Planning and Public Safety Committee meeting was held in downtown Lexington Tuesday night.

And during that meeting, dozens of short-term rental owners shared their concerns about the new, proposed zoning and code ordinances. Many of them said they fear these type of regulations could mean an end to their businesses.

“Our company helped generate over $130,000 for clients in rental revenue the week of Breeder’s Cup 2022,” said Heath Green, who opposes the regulations.

Co-owner of the Kentucky Life Property Management Group, Heath Green said when people come to Lexington, for horses bourbon, school or traveling healthcare, they’re seeking out short term rentals over hotels or long term living.

“Our clients are able to re-invest back into our local economy due to such proceeds before the holidays. And guests who drove sales at local restaurants, bars, retail shops and other businesses,” Green said.

The Planning and Public Safety Committee has two ordinances before them. The first is a code ordinance that would require owners to get special licenses and pay a transient room tax.

Some, like President of the Fayette County Neighborhood Council Walt Gaffield, are in favor of these regulations.

“Licensing and inspection of rental properties is a really high priority.”

The second is a zone ordinance. It would limit where owners could have short-term rentals and require conditional use permits in many circumstances.

“There’s really a lack of planning and regulation at all. I think something needs to be done. There’s problems with housing availability, affordability, nuisances.”

The majority of those filling the room Tuesday night said they rely on this extra income and so do their employees.

“It’s enabled us to put our daughter in college. It’s about to put our son in college. They do more than just host. It’s a personal, tight-knit community. It’s growing rapidly,” said Marcus, the owner of a small business, M.I.Sugar LLC.

Councilmember James Brown did mention several times that this is just the start of discussions surrounding the ordinances. And no vote will be taken at this time.