City Council Expanding Some Territory For Short Term Vacation Rentals; Approves No-Tax-Increase Budget

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

City Council members are eyeing changes in the popular short term vacation rental business, including some likely expansion of district boundaries.

Councilwoman Demetrus Coonrod said one change she is seeking soon is to allow the rentals on the opposite side of Pinewood Lane.

She also said at one section of Eastdale there are four residents interested in setting up the rentals.

She stated, "I might favor allowing them in my whole district maybe."

Councilman Chip Henderson, who helped get the short term vacation rentals going, said he also is looking at some expansion of approved areas in his district.

It was agreed that commissioners would submit the changes they are seeking on the rentals by July 12.

Donna Williams, who heads city Economic and Community Development, said she will compile all the requests and make a presentation to the full council.

She said some of the requests "might be in conflict," but council members said those could be worked out.

Councilman Henderson expressed a concern about too many non-owner occupied short term vacation rentals showing up in a neighborhood, saying it could change its character.

He was told there are no known guidelines to tell when a neighborhood has reached a "tipping point" on the rentals.

The council on Tuesday night approved four more short term vacation rental locations, including three in North Chattanooga and one in St. Elmo.

One applicant said there are no hotels in North Chattanooga, and visitors overnight there at the popular destination "are going to be in airbnbs."

Approved were applications by Denny Schoch at 312 Tremont St., John Sterner at 412 Tremont St. and Katherine Paige Wilson at 410 Ziegler St.

There was opposition to a request by non-residents Nathaniel and Tiffany Roseveare at 314 Old Mountain Road. They said they wanted to share "this historic farmhouse" with Chattanooga visitors.

The two-bedroom home has space for three parking spots, it was stated.

Frank Hutchinson, who lives nearby on Fair Oak, expressed concerns about children who play in narrow streets. He said that neighborhood has "the narrowest streets in the city and no sidewalks."

Anthony Demarco, who has grandchildren living nearby, said it was "bringing an unknown into the neighborhood."

However, Council Chairman Erskine Oglesby moved for approval, and other council members went along.  

In other action, the council approved a no-tax-increase budget for the upcoming year.

It also approved $11 million in capital projects.

 


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