Gulf Shores halts short-term rentals in multi-family zones

United States: Gulf Shores City Council in Alabama approved a resolution at its last city council meeting temporarily halting the issuing of short-term rental licences.

The resolution limits the licences in the R-3 and R-4 districts within the corporate limits of the city.

Mayor Robert Craft read the resolution to the council and crowd at its introduction:

“In order to enable the City Council of the City of Gulf Shores sufficient time to review, study, hold public hearings and prepare and adopt amendments to the zoning ordinance of the City of Gulf Shores related to the allow-ability and definition of vacation rental dwelling units located in R-3 and R-4 districts and to fulfil the City’s statutory obligation to provide for safety, preservation of health, promote prosperity and improve the order, comfort and convenience of its citizens a temporary suspension of the new issuance of new vacation rental licences.

“Vacation rental means any lease, sublease, rental or any licensing of use of a dwelling unit by an owner or lessee for fewer than 180 consecutive days,” he said.

The suspension does not apply to the issuing of a renewal licence to anyone holding a valid, current licence.

Planning Director Andy Bauer said the zones in question are multi-family high- and low-density areas.

“A lot of R-3 and R-4 developments are located around city hall on the west side of town.

“Then, on the east side of town, (they are) primarily in the location between Hwy. 180 and the Intracoastal Waterway. We do have a couple of outliers on the north side,” he said.

When the city adopted the short-term rental regulations in 2009, it restricted the practice in single-family and duplex areas and created the single-family overlay district.

“One of the primary reasons for the adoption of that single-family and duplex overlay district was to recognise the short-term rentals that had always been occurring in our beach area.

“Just as important was to restrict short-term rentals from going into our owner-occupied residential areas where a lot of our residents live,” Bauer said.