Local Politics

Without Opposition, Council Outlaws Airbnb Rentals in Gardendale

On a Monday evening that promised fireworks at a public hearing on whether the Gardendale City Council should or should not ban any new Airbnb/Short-term rentals in residential neighborhoods in Gardendale, someone forgot to bring the fireworks.

Gardendale City Council. Photo: Herald Staff.
Gardendale City Council. Photo: Herald Staff.

Even City Council President Alvin Currington expressed to those in attendance that the Council was expecting a lengthy session over the public hearing on the issue.

When the time came about 40 minutes into the meeting and Councilman Currington asked those citizens in attendance if anyone would like to speak on the issue, exactly 2 people came to the microphone.

One was for the ban and another was an actual owner of a home currently being operated as Airbnb/short-term rental.

That was all. Visibly surprised at no opposition at the meeting, the public hearing was closed and a vote was taken.

In a 5-0 vote, the Council unanimously voted to ban all new short-term rentals in residential zones and “grandfather” in all homes currently operating as Airbnb/short-term rentals in those residential zones before the new regulations go into effect.

Those grandfathered in will have heightened issues to deal with as to business licenses, collecting of taxes and safety regulations, but they effectively have a monopoly now as to any people looking for Airbnb or short-term rentals in Gardendale. The only other short-term rentals that would now be allowed will be only in commercially zoned property.