Orange Beach approves short term residential rental ban

(IMG:WPMI) Orange Beach approves short term residential rental ban

Short term residential rentals are no longer welcome in the city of Orange Beach.

Orange Beach city leaders passed an ordinance banning property owners from renting their homes for anything less than two weeks.

City leaders say the ordinance will only impact owners of single-family residential properties and was needed for the safety of permanent residents.

No longer will Orange Beach homeowners be able to rent out their homes to folks looking to stay days at a time Instead, property owners will be required to find renters who are looking to stay for weeks.

Matt Wilson was at the meeting and said as a father, he's glad the ordinance was passed.

"There were lots of complaints about things getting stolen and people doing lewd acts in the street. People were partying, drinking and just doing what people do when they come to the beach sometimes. But then you've got a family with kids right next door," said Wilson.

Those complaints are exactly city leaders say they've taken steps to pass the proposal which has been in the works for months.

City leaders say noise, trash and overflow parking, as well as criminal activity, have been issues caused by a number of short term renters.

"You've got kids that are 2, 3, 4, 5 or 10-years old being exposed to adult activity that they don't need to see," Wilson said.

To replace the Short Term Rental license, Orange Beach has created a new “Vacation Rental" license which would allow homeowners to rent their properties for at least 14 days or longer. But it's not sitting well with everyone.

Jim Cate has been renting a home he owns in Orange Beach for years.

Cate believes the ordinance forces guests into big time condos in an effort to create more tax revenue in Orange Beach.

"Thirteen percent tax is more to the city so the city makes a lot of money, but it penalizes an individual tax holder and a person who owns property," said Cate. "A lot of people bought property because they could rent it to help pay for the property. Now you're forcing them aside."

City officials say the ordinance only impacts properties that are zoned as single-family residences.

Orange Beach city leaders said they don't believe it will have any impact what is expected to be another busy beach season.

The current Short Term Rental license is valid for a year.

According to officials, homeowners with the current Short Term Rental license will be grandfathered in.

However, once that license expires, the property owner will be required to purchase the Vacation Rental license if they intend to continue renting.

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