A spacious, four-bedroom home in the Highlands, marketed as an executive rental or for families. | Courtesy Key Source Properties

In a last-minute push, the Metro Council’s Planning, Zoning & Annexation Committee unanimously voted Tuesday to send a proposed moratorium on the approval of non-owner-occupied short-term rentals to the full Metro Council.

The ordinance will be considered under old business at the Dec. 13 meeting to allow for added discussion that wasn’t possible at the committee level because of a jam-packed agenda and a hard 3 p.m. deadline to conclude the meeting.

The committee vote came just two days before the Planning Commission is set to host a public hearing related to proposed changes to the city’s short-term rental regulations. The meeting is scheduled for Dec. 6 in the old jail, 514 W. Liberty St.; the commission has said it won’t start the hearing until 3 p.m.

Councilman Bill Hollander, D-9, Tuesday told the committee during his brief comments that not instituting a moratorium while new short-term rental regulations are under consideration would result in “a land rush” of applications as people try to obtain conditional use permits before the city changes its regulations. Hollander, who is in favor of prohibiting non-owner-occupied short-term rentals, is a sponsor of the ordinance.

“It makes sense to have a timeout,” he said.

Councilman Bill Hollander, D-9

Since Insider first reported that a moratorium was proposed on Nov. 28, 17 applications were filed for conditional use permits for non-owner-occupied short-term rentals. By comparison, only 10 such applications were filed from Nov. 1-27, according to city records.

“There’s considerable concern in the community about whether entire streets could become short-term rentals,” Hollander said, calling out specifically those that are not occupied by the property owner and operate year-round as short-term rentals.

Noting that there wasn’t time for lengthy discussion, Councilman Brandon Coan, D-8, who co-sponsored the ordinance, said he does have some questions about the ordinance language, which needs some cleaning up, but primarily is curious about a handful of conditional use permit applications nearing the end of the city approval process.

What rights do they have, Coan asked.

The Board of Zoning Adjustment, which considers short-term rental permit cases, has one more meeting this year on Dec. 17. It is unclear if the board will be allowed to hear and vote on conditional use permits for short-term rentals at that meeting if the moratorium is passed. The agenda is not yet available.

As of Nov. 28, the board had approved conditional use permits for 71 non-owner-occupied short-term rentals.

Louisville native Caitlin Bowling has covered the local restaurant and retail scene since 2014. After graduating from the Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, Caitlin got her start at a newspaper in the mountains of North Carolina where she won multiple state awards for her reporting. Since returning to Louisville, she’s written for Business First and Insider Louisville, winning awards for health and business reporting and becoming a go-to source for business news. In addition to restaurants and retail business, Caitlin covers real estate, economic development and tourism. Email Caitlin at [email protected]


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