Neighbors support Airbnb, but owner still feels like the city ki - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Neighbors support Airbnb, but owner still feels like the city killed his business

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Homes in the Las Vegas area are shown in an undated image. (File) Homes in the Las Vegas area are shown in an undated image. (File)

The Las Vegas City Council has voted to require property owners to get a special use permit before they can offer short-term rentals. Property owners fought against the proposed regulation, believing that special use permits would never be granted to them.

[Related: Locked out? Renting out your Las Vegas home on Airbnb just got more difficult]

Property owners who apply for a special use permit will have to pay approximately $1,000 for the application, without knowing whether their application will be approved. A spokesman for the city said half of it will go toward sending mail to neighbors, giving them an opportunity to speak for or against the short term rental. The other half will go toward processing fees.

Members of the Las Vegas City Council will then vote on each individual case at their regularly scheduled meetings. Proponents of the ordinance said it will give a voice to neighbors who have had problems with "party houses" keeping everyone up at night in their neighborhoods.

AJ Modig, who owns five Airbnb properties, said the very small minority of properties with problems have ruined it for the responsible owners who already have paid $500 a year for a business license. He bragged that he has only ever had one issue at one of his properties.

Instead of taking Modig's word for it, we double checked.

"I have no complaints. The house and yard look better than they've looked for years!" said neighbor Betty Showers, who has lived in the house across the street since 1964. "I've never heard the cops called on them... I think they ought to stay. They're good!"

Showers said she has never met Modig, but she has seen stories on the news about the drama surrounding vacation rentals.

"If they were all like that I think it would be excellent," she said. "(I haven't heard) a peep... If they were all like this, I'd say why worry?"

Plenty of other neighbors agreed that they have no complaints, but they weren't interested in talking about it on camera or attending a city council meeting to defend Modig.

Modig said he thinks standard use permits will be denied 999 out of 1,000 times, even though property owners like him set strict rules prohibiting outdoor music and set up ways to monitor it. He said he's planning to start opening properties in North Las Vegas.

The phrase "party house" has become a dirty word in describing short-term rental properties. The people currently renting Modig's property said they're definitely having a party, just not the kind that would concern the Las Vegas City Council.

"We are having a 70th birthday party for my mom," said Zibby Wilder, visiting from Washington. "It's a surprise party."

Wilder said she didn't want to cram her entire family into a hotel room on the Las Vegas Strip. She and the family wanted to barbecue and bring the family dog.

"It's just a lot easier to have a place where we can all be together," she said. "I chose this one because we can have a lot of kids in there. They can make a mess."

Modig, along with other property owners who offer short term rentals, will have a 24-month grace period before they will need to get a special use permit. There are only 161 property owners with business licenses permitting short-term rentals in the city. The vast majority have been operating without any license or permit.

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