By Anna Skinner
A recent surge in popularity of the Airbnb concept has prompted the City of Fishers to establish a committee to evaluate use of the site Fishers. Airbnb is an online firm for renting out rooms or homes for a short period of time. City councilors Eric Moeller and Rich Block were appointed to the committee.
Moeller said the committee was established to ensure equitable treatment between homeowners, businesses and neighbors.
“The primary objective is equitable treatment between businesses, bed and breakfasts, hotels and homeowners that want to engage in an Airbnb rental and the neighbors surrounding that person,” Moeller said. “The economic trend is encouraging us to take a look at these and make sure we are operating in a fair and equitable way.
“The sharing economy (Uber, Airbnb) has really blurred the lines of what we’ve come to think of as traditional types of usage,” Moeller added in an email. “These trends will be of the many factors we will be considering in the committee.”
Block said since the committee was established two weeks ago and had not met as of press time, it is uncertain exactly what issues it will decide or address.
“I’m sure (the committee) is just trying to understand what implications (Airbnb) may have in Fishers,” Block said. “I was asked to participate by (city council president) David George, and I think it might be my background in business and real estate, and maybe that was a factor (in the selection.)”
“We do believe short-term rentals is a topic that merits further discussion with the leaders and residents in our city,” Deputy Mayor Leah McGrath stated in an email sent to Current. “We recognize there is a difference in impact between sub-leasing one’s home to a single renter for a period of time versus leasing for short-term use to visitors who may change week to week. How and whether to allow for weekly rentals is a question each community needs to evaluate and requires a broader discussion around impact to neighbors, public safety and location. To that end, we are in the early discussions of forming a subcommittee to discuss this topic.”
For more, visit airbnb.com.
Recently, the City of Carmel sent a cease and desist letter to Airbnb hosts, sparking controversy and closer looks at Airbnb in other cities such as Fishers. In Carmel, officials said the hosts were violating city zoning laws by providing their single-family home as an online rental option, and that some hosts purchased a home for the sole purpose of creating an Airbnb location.
For more, visit youarecurrent.com.