City On Tuesday Will Issue 1st 30 Violation Orders To Those Illegally Operating STVRs

  • Tuesday, September 19, 2023

The city next Wednesday will issue the first "violation orders" to 30 illegal operators of short term vacation rentals (STVRs).

Chris Anderson of the mayor's office said the city has identified 268 violators and will be sending out 30 notices a week until all have been advised.

Those getting the notices will have to appear before the city's new Administrative Hearing Officer and could face penalties of $500 per day until they come into compliance.

Mr. Anderson said attorney Mike Mallen, who was named in June as AHO, has had to deal with family health matters. As a result, he said the city is bringing on attorney Jim Exum as the second AHO. The AHOs are paid by the hour.

Attorney Exum already serves as the AHO for Collegedale, Soddy Daisy and Red Bank.

Some council members were dismayed when told that the AHO would not be holding court at City Court when the courtroom is not in use and that the City Court Clerk's Office would not be handling the paperwork.

Mr. Anderson and City Attorney Phil Noblett said there were legal issues being studied related to use of City Court for the new position.

The first hearing on Nov. 15 will be at the Development Resource Center on Market Street, and attorney Exum's staff will be handling the paperwork.

Councilwoman Berz said of not using City Court that "This is ridiculous. We call the shots. That court is only being used half the day."

Councilwoman Jenny Hill said, "We did not do this to create a budget bleed hole."

She said residents had been dissatisfied with those summoned to City Court getting off easily and strong enforcement was needed.

Councilman Darrin Ledford said, "We need to fast track this. We need to get this going. It's been long enough. The case work is piling up."

Mr. Anderson said a number of steps had been taken, including creation of new AHO forms.

He said 201 permits have been issued for STVRs since a lengthy moratorium was ended.  

Mr. Anderson said STVRs were overbuilt in some areas and some rental rates have gone down.



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