Centerville OKs short-term rentals in Uptown, sunsets them for rest of city

New Airbnb or VRBO options will be allowed in small area surrounding Main and Franklin; rentals elsewhere in city have only one year left

Centerville is allowing new short-term rentals for its Uptown area starting this spring, but sunsetting them for the rest of the community by spring 2025.

New short-term rentals will be permitted starting next month in the Architectural Preservation District, which is essentially “at the heart of Uptown” along West Franklin, East Franklin, North Main and South Main, said Ian Vanness, Centerville’s city planner.

The district, which totals nearly 96 acres and 337 parcels, stretches north to Zengel Drive, south to a little past Peach Grove Avenue, west to Normandy Lane and east to Cemetery Drive, Vanness said.

Short-term rentals are defined as any renting of a portion of a dwelling unit for anything less than 30 days. Common platforms include Airbnb and VRBO.

Centerville’s Planning Commission voted earlier this year to recommend approval of a text amendment to the city’s Unified Development Ordinance. Centerville City Council on Monday voted to approve the text amendment, with the new ordinance going into effect 30 days later.

The vote ends a nearly year-and-a-half-long process that started in November 2022 when Centerville enacted a yearlong moratorium on new short-term rentals. In October 2023, council approved a sixth-month extension of that moratorium to allow staff to further consider the matter and allow council members more time to talk with residents.

City officials say short-term rentals have grown in popularity over the past several years.

“Typically we have somewhere around 15 short-term rentals, at least as they appear on Airbnb or VRBO,” Vanness said. “Most of them are located in the Architectural Preservation District, but we do have some in single-family residential neighborhoods.”

Most of the dwelling types are single-family residences or apartments, he said.

Any short-term rental that exists outside the city’s Architectural Preservation District will have a year to continue to operate, Vanness said.

Allowing short-term rentals in the city’s Uptown area aligns with the city’s Uptown Action Plan, which was approved in 2019, he said.

The changes would not affect anyone wishing to operate a bed and breakfast.

“The fundamental distinction between a bed and breakfast and a short-term rental is the fact that (for) a bed and breakfast ... the principal use is that of a residence, and the bed and breakfast is actually an accessory use and that the owner or operator of a bed and breakfast is actually present during the duration of the stay,” he said.

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