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Regulations weighed for short-term rentals

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque city councilors voted unanimously Wednesday to create a 12-member task force to explore options to regulate short-term rentals in the city.

Councilor Diane Gibson

A short-term rental is defined as a rental in a single-family residence or apartment of 29 days or less, but is not a defined use within the city’s Integrated Development Ordinance and is currently regulated in the same way that other residential uses are regulated.

The resolution says that since the arrival of online short-term rental websites, the number of such properties has increased “significantly” in the city.

“This is just like any other task force,” said Councilor Diane Gibson, who sponsored the legislation establishing the advisory group. “We want to extend our knowledge base.”

Monte Harms, who operates an Airbnb in Albuquerque, told councilors he didn’t understand the need for a task force to explore short-term rentals.

“It seems the impetus of this was a party house on Airbnb or a couple more that had issues with noise or parking,” Harms said. “All of the other Airbnbs should not be regulated because of a bad apple. If there are these problems, shouldn’t the existing laws of the city take care of that?”

Airbnb Inc. is a San Francisco-based company operating an online marketplace and hospitality service that allows people to lease or rent short-term lodging in cottages, apartments, homestays, hostel beds or hotel rooms.

The task force will be made up of representatives from the city’s Planning Department, Code Enforcement Division, Legal Department, City Council Services Department, Mayor’s Office, Treasury Department and Visit ABQ.

They will be joined by someone in the real estate industry knowledgeable in short-term rental properties, two community members appointed by the council with special knowledge or interest in issues and community impacts associated with short-term rental properties, and two representatives from the lodging industry, at least one of whom is involved with the short-term rental industry.

The task force has a March 1 deadline to submit a list of recommendations to councilors and Mayor Tim Keller.