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Short term rentals a concern for Nashville home owners, Metro Council considers action

Short term rentals a concern for Nashville home owners, Metro Council considers action. PHOTO: MGN

Nashville, Tenn --- When Gena Downey planned a Nashville get-a-way with ten of her friends and AirBNB house in East Nashville made the most sense.

AirBNB is one of several sites that lets home owners rent their property on a short term basis over the internet.

"It was actually so much better for us because we can all be together we can hang out together. It's easy to get around," said Downey.

Both the home Downey's group rented and its neighbor are full time short term rentals, meaning no one really lives in them.

It's a concept that's become more common in neighborhoods close to downtown and East Nashville homeowner Logan key is among those who see concerns.

"I think it transforms our neighborhood into something that is very different from what these neighborhoods are intended to be," said Key.

Similar concerns convinced Metro Council to limit the number of permits for non owner occupied short term rentals to no more than 3% of the properties in a census tract.

Metro Council Member Bob Mendes is proposing reducing that to 1%.

"I think we've got in some parts of town too many," said Mendes. "There tends to be significant noise issues where neighbors who thought they were buying in a residential neighborhood all of a sudden find themselves in a hotel district."

The Council will begin discussing the proposal next Tuesday but one thing could eventually stand in its way.

The Beacon Center of Tennessee is already challenging existing restrictions in court.

Justin Owen says it's unconstitutional Nashville lets some property owners utilize short term rentals but not others.

"This is a brazen disregard for property rights," said Owen. "You can't do that as a government you have to treat everyone equally and if someone meets the criteria to use AirBNB they should be able to get that permit."

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