Orange Beach aims to get rid of short term residential rentals


Air Bnb and similar rentals could soon be a thing of the past in Orange Beach.

City officials have said that they are proposing an ordinance to restrict short term residential rentals because of complaints and issues.

The busy tourist season is right around the corner and Orange Beach is expecting to have another banner year.

However, short term residential renters may no longer be invited to the party.

Ken Grimes, Orange Beach City Administrator, said the city council passed a moratorium on new short term rental licenses for residential zones.

"The goal is in the future, property owners would not be in the short term rental business," said Grimes.

The city is now working on creating a new "Vacation Rental" license only allowing homeowners to rent their properties for at least 14 days or longer.

Grimes says it all boils down to complaints and problems.

"The typical complaint that comes with what we're facing now in a residential zone or neighborhood, is noise, trash and overflow parking. We finally reached a point where we have too many complaints in too many neighborhoods across the city," Grimes said.

Grimes says if the proposal passes a vote, current homeowners with annual short term rental licenses will be grandfathered in.

But once that old license expires, the new license will be required.

Some residents agree neighborhoods aren't the place for short term rentals.

"Where the children are and our bus stops are, I don't think it's a good place to have a group of college kids having parties and stuff," said Elizabeth Walker, who lives off Canal Road, "If you live on the beach, I think that's OK, but once you get in the neighborhoods, I don't think that's OK."

But other homeowners say they don't believe the majority should be punished because of a few.

"A lot of people come down to rent homes to stay for a week or a long weekend with their family," said another resident, "In homes, a lot of times you can do things you can't in condos. Your children can get out in the yard and play. You can grill. You can play football. I think it would be a bad move."

The new proposal would not affect condo owners or similar properties outside of residential zones.

Officials say if the proposal passes, the new license will likely be in place in the next few months.

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