Las Vegas City Council rejects multifamily condo bill

Las Vegas: The Las Vegas City Council has knocked back a proposal to allow more short-term rentals in multifamily complexes.

Sponsored by Steve Coffin, the proposed regulation would have permitted up to five per cent of units in a complex to be rented out for fewer than 31 days, though homeowners’ associations could pass more restrictive rental rules.

The proposal was an amendment to an ordinance which was passed in December limiting short-term rentals to only one within a 660-foot radius and only in owner-occupied properties. The initial ordinance was written to take single-family homes into account.

Coffin’s amendment would also have eliminated the owner-occupancy obligation for multi-family developments such as condominium buildings.

Councilwoman Michele Fiore and Coffin voted for the amendment while Mayor Carolyn Goodman and council members Stavros Anthony, Steven Seroka and Cedric Crear voted against it.

The opponents of the original proposal were a group of homeowners in downtown Ogden, a 275-unit condominium complex, who said they did not approve of the type of short-term rentals listed on Airbnb. While there is currently only one legal short-term rental in Ogden, the amendment would have allowed up to 13 if it had been approved.

Resident Angela Peno told the Las Vegas Sun: “I just don’t understand why there has to be an amendment, why we have to be different than everybody else and what the purpose of this is. Is it for the residents, the constituents, or is it for investments?”

While Las Vegas City Council has only allowed one short-term rental in Ogden, residents believed around 20 units are being rented out illegally.

Las Vegas City Council member Seroka noted that rentals have more impact in buildings with shared spaces and said he voted against the amendment to support the downtown community and the city’s hotel industry.

Seroka said: “We’re trying to develop a community of permanent residents in our downtown. We’re trying to grow a community that is strong in pride in the sense of being a Las Vegan.

“When we open up our multifamily buildings, which do occupy a lot of downtown, we change the nature of that investment as well,” he added.

Meanwhile, Coffin said the amendment would have corrected the “overreach” of the ordinance from December, which he said “punishes owners looking to make rental income”. He added that homeowners’ associations are free to implement their own rules for short-term rentals.

He said: “Let’s face it, a lot of people want to invest here, so let them decide.”