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CT bill limiting short term rentals, vacation stays, moves to vote

 Some metropolises and countries are imposing restrictions on Airbnb hosts.
Lorenzo Di Cola
NurPhoto via Getty Images
Some towns and cities are imposing restrictions on Airbnb hosts as neighborhoods complain about noise and parking issues from guests in short-term rentals

Towns and cities in Connecticut may soon have more control over short term rentals.

State lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow towns and cities to establish ordinances limiting the use of short term rental properties, like Airbnbs.

State Representative Joe Zullo supports the bill, but believes municipalities already have the power to dictate regulations. The East Haven Republican outlined some of the existing restrictions.

“You’re only allowed to rent to so many people. You’re only allowed to rent at certain times of the year. You’re required to register. You’re required to have the property’s assessment changed as an incoming producing property,” Zullo said.

The Planning and Development Committee approved the proposal. It comes

as neighborhoods complain about noise and parking issues from guests in short-term rentals, and the warm vacation months approach.

The bill would give municipalities the power to ban short term rentals or create a registry of rental properties, among other abilities.

It would give municipalities the option to change their short term rental policies, but it would not require towns to take action, Democratic State Representative Eleni Kavros-DeGraw said.

“We did decide to raise it because of the challenges that so many communities are having with their short term rental situation,” Kavros-DeGraw said. “I would say that because this is a may and not a shall it certainly is going to be up to the community to decide what the licensure is going to look like.”

No landlords or rental property managers spoke against the bill during a public hearing in early March, nor was written opposition to the bill submitted.

The Lower Connecticut River Valley Council of Governments, however, did pose questions regarding the bill’s intent.

“RiverCOG is concerned that although the bill is well intentioned, municipalities do not have the staff to process or enforce short-term rental licensing,” Council Executive Director Samuel Gold wrote. “Municipalities cannot levy tax on short-term rental stays and they can already prohibit short-term rentals in the zoning regulations. If the purpose of the license would be for municipalities to know where short term rentals are located, that information could get obtained from the Department of Revenue Services.”

Abigail is Connecticut Public's housing reporter, covering statewide housing developments and issues, with an emphasis on Fairfield County communities. She received her master's from Columbia University in 2020 and graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2019. Abigail previously covered statewide transportation and the city of Norwalk for Hearst Connecticut Media. She loves all things Disney and cats.

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