Tuscaloosa making more changes to short-term rental rules

Tuscaloosa making more changes to short-term rental rules
(Source: WBRC Video)

TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - The city of Tuscaloosa is making more changes concerning the way it treats short-term rentals.

Tuscaloosa's Associate Planning Director Ashley Crites said the new short-term rental changes approved last night are designed to make it easier for people to rent out their homes in those designated areas of the city.

Folks wanting to participate in short-term rentals complained about the process taking too long to get licensed.

"We are not terrifying people we want to make this process as simple as possible," said Crites.

So the city has taken out the requirement to go through the zoning board which could take 30 days if you're requesting to short term rent your home for less than 30 days a year.

"I think maybe we got it right but of course the tell will really be when football season comes," said Councilman Kip Tyner.

Now folks that live in the lake district and downtown district can go straight to planning staff to get to short-term rental permits, saving time.

But Crites said making sure all the rentals are up to code is still a challenge they face.

"There's still a lot of people breaking the law and that's a scary thing because of a safety perspective," said Crites.

While the city hopes increasing rental caps from 3 to 50 percent for condominiums in those areas, will encourage folks to follow the rules, others are worried about how this will impact their neighborhood.

"We're very small neighborhood houses are close together. So, more people in fluxing in and out we're on a path straight from the University to downtown and so it's just more traffic more concern, more people who don't know the neighborhood," said Cathy Elliot, who lives in Tuscaloosa.

The city officials said this ordinance is fluid and that even more changes could possibly be made in the future depending on the results of this current one.

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