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Tough road ahead for regulating short-term rentals in Clark County

CLARK COUNTY GOVERNMENT CENTER
Posted at 5:02 PM, Mar 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-23 02:13:12-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Dozens of concerned and curious Clark County residents shared their opinions on legalizing and regulating short-term rentals like Airbnb and VRBO Tuesday at the Clark County Government Center with many upset with regulations or proposing strict rules for anyone welcoming a guest into their homes.

Many would be renters worried about high fees, barriers for entry, and potential distance requirements from nearby resort hotels and other rentals.

Others, like Marlen Hoesly, said short-term rentals have been a reality in Clark County for years, despite being illegal, and they've been creating headaches for neighbors.

Hoesly said his next door neighbor started a short-term rental in February.

"The first party was late at night," Hoesly said. "Drinking, people throwing stuff over the fences, lights all over the place, noise. It was a disaster."

However, Hoesly did not want the rentals completely banned like today. Instead, he advocated for heavy regulation and punishment for rule breakers.

"I just hope they get it right," Hoesly said. "And that they put some teeth in it."

Commissioner Ross Miller (D), who represents District C, said public input will help them get it right.

"This is obviously a big issue that people care about," Miller said.

Miller continued saying the issue will be complex for the entire commission to pin down with little time left to do it.

"The legislature made it clear that we're having Airbnbs," Miller said. "The question is how many, the distance between the Airbnbs we will allow, the process for permitting those, and, for the people who aren't following the law, what kind of teeth should there be?"

The county is required by law to have an ordinance in place by July 1. However, county representatives said the license application process could take as long as seven months before legal rentals can begin operations.

Watch the meeting:

The conversation about short-term rentals is critical, according to Commissioners Ross Miller and Justin Jones, as they are currently illegal in unincorporated Clark County.

"Short-term rentals have been illegal in unincorporated Clark County. That all changes on July 1st, when we must have an ordinance in place regulating them," Jones said. "It's important for us to receive public feedback so that we have a good understanding of how far residents want us to go in regulating them."

RELEVANT: Clark County seeks residents' input on short-term rental survey

The first step in that transition was the survey, followed by town hall meetings. Provided in a press release included the following email and link to learn more about A.B. 363 and provide input. Officials said there may be additional ways to provide input in the months ahead:

Commissioner Jones will host a short-term rentals public workshop on Thursday, March 24 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Desert Breeze Community Center, 8275 Spring Mountain Rd.

According to the release, there may be additional public meetings as well after considering the 5,811 survey responses.

After the meetings, government officials will develop an ordinance to regulate short-term rentals for presentation to the Clark County Commission. A.B. 363 establishes some of these limits as part of the mandate, including minimum distance separation between short-term rentals, proximity to resort hotels, limits on the number of occupants and number of permits a person may hold, the county said.