It’s Action Time

There are currently 3 significant short term rental bills passing through the legislative process for Davidson County. All 3 bills will be up for reading at Planning Commission on Thursday, January 16th. This is a public hearing and we encourage short term rental supporters to email and attend.

Important Considerations For All Bills:

Any bill that passes at the Planning Commission will be subject to pending legislation doctrine since there is no effective date in any of the bills. Therefore, if these bills pass on January 16th, the rules in the bills would apply to any new STR permits effective January 17, 2020 on. Typically, this would also apply to any permits that are in-process and not yet issued.

While the expectation is that existing permits are grandfathered under the Tennessee Short Term Rental Unit Act, it is unclear how enforcement will work. Unfortunately there have been instances where the Codes Department revoked existing permits (like when they revoked more than 100 owner-occupied permits last year).

“Grandfather status” lives with the owner of the property, however. Therefore, these changes could have significant impact on your property’s resale as future owners would not be able to obtain a permit according to the laws proposed below, should they pass. Two of the three bills impact both owner-occupied and non-owner occupied eligibility.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Email the Planning Commission by end of day Wednesday (1/15) and ask them to vote no on these bills. The button link below will generate an email addressed to the Planning Commission with a relevant subject line for you.
  • Use the below text as a starting template for your message. Copy and paste this into the body of your email and then personalize it as you see fit. Include your home address at the end of your message.


I am writing in opposition to the following 3 bills: BL2019-111, 79, 78, and in support of short term rentals. My concerns are as follows:

BL2019-111: While the intent of this bill is to curb new developments from being STR-eligible, it also opens the door for properties, streets, and neighborhoods to be rezoned to eliminate short term rentals. If this passes, it is easily foreseeable that any council member or Nashville citizen would be able to apply for a downzoning of my home or my entire neighborhood to the new -NS zoning that restricts all short term rentals. This is grievously concerning on many levels.

BL2019-79: Many people rent out basements, DADUs, or portions of their home that have a separate entrance to the guests’ space. These would all be considered “whole home” rentals on short-term rental listing platforms and would no longer be allowed under the new law. Additionally, our city is full of traveling musicians, educators, medical professionals, military, and others who rent their entire homes while traveling for their jobs. This bill would no longer allow them to do so, which, for many, may impact their ability to afford keeping their home here in Nashville.

BL2019-78: Data does not support the claim that short term rentals (non-owner occupied or otherwise) are more prone to nuisance or lewd complaints and issues. In fact, the last data released shows they are less likely to cause issues because they represented 1.8% of all housing and yet comprised only .2% of Codes complaints and police calls. The 100-foot restriction is unreasonably punitive.

Please vote NO to all three of these bills.

EMAIL PLANNING COMMISSION

  • Show up to the public hearing on Thursday, January 16th wearing blue to stand in opposition to these bills. Find members of the NASTRA board (they’ll be wearing name tags) to get a sticker to further show your support. (If you can’t be there by 4PM, please just come as soon as you’re able.)

Thursday, January 16, 2020
4:00 – 7:00 PM
at
Metro Nashville Public Schools Administration Building
2601 Bransford Avenue
Nashville, TN, TN 37204

** NOTE THIS IS A DIFFERENT LOCATION THAN USUAL **

Top “Must-Knows” About Each Bill:

BL2019-111:  CREATES A NEW “NO SHORT TERM RENTAL” ZONE THAT WOULD DISALLOW BOTH OWNER-OCCUPIED AND NON-OWNER OCCUPIED ELIGIBILITY IN EACH ZONE
SPONSORED BY SEAN PARKER, COLBY SLEDGE AND KYONZTÉ TOOMBS

  • This bill would impact both owner occupied and non-owner occupied eligibility.
  • A new “category” of zoning would be added to the zoning grid which would allow a zone to be changed from its current status to a status of -NS (NS = no short term rental). For instance, if a property is currently CS, it could be changed to CS-NS which would restrict all STR permits (both owner-occupied and non-owner occupied) from being issued there.
  • While the intent is likely to curtail short term rental developments specifically in multi-family zones, it also opens the door for properties, streets, and entire neighborhoods to be rezoned to eliminate short term rentals.
  • If this bill passes, it is easily foreseeable that any council member or Nashville citizen who is unfriendly toward STRs would be able to apply for a downzoning of your home or your entire neighborhood to the new -NS zoning that restricts all short term rentals.
  • This is a measure taken through the Davidson County Metro City Council and Planning Commission, and property owners do not have to approve zoning changes to their property. (Meaning, this zoning change could be enacted on your property without your consent.)
  • View more details on BL2019-111 here »

BL2019-79: RESTRICTS OWNER-OCCUPIED WHOLE HOME RENTALS
SPONSORED BY FREDDIE O’CONNELL

  • Other than for a two-family residential unit under common ownership (ie HPR, Duplex, DADUs), advertisements for an owner-occupied STRP shall not advertise availability of all of the bedrooms within the unit for STRP use. In short, this means owner-occupied STRPs can no longer be listed as “whole home” rentals.
  • Planning Commission staff state that the purpose of this is to simplify enforcement. “Host Compliance, the monitoring system used by Metro, has the ability to return data on if a unit is being advertised as a whole home rental. By prohibiting whole home rentals, it simplifies the enforcement.”
  • However, even lawful owner-occupied HPRs, Duplexes, and DADUs would get flagged by Host Compliance and the owners would be notified that they are not in compliance. Once again the property owner would need to pay legal fees to defend their lawful permit.
  • Many people rent out basements, upper-level apartments, mother-in-law suites, or portions of their home that offer a separate entrance to the guests’ space and these are considered “whole home” rentals on all listing platforms. If this bill passes, they would no longer be lawfully able to advertise as such.
  • Additionally, anyone who travels for their jobs (musicians, educators, medical professionals, military, and others) would be unable to rent their entire homes out while they are traveling for work. This would impact many people’s ability to afford keeping their home here in Nashville.
  • The bill also states that the owner cannot be away from the property for more than 15 consecutive hours while the home is rented. The Planning Commission staff recommendation is to remove that requirement. (Which is a positive change.)
  • View more details on BL2019-79 here »

BL2019-78: IMPOSES DISTANCE REQUIREMENT FOR NON-OWNER OCCUPIED STRPS
SPONSORED BY COLBY SLEDGE

  • Adds a minimum distance requirement for any new non-owner occupied STRP permit. This bill states that “no new STRP permit shall be issued to an applicant whose location is less than one hundred feet from a religious institution, a school or its playground, a park, or a licensed day care center or its playground.”
  • The Planning Commission staff recommendation is to require the 100ft. distance from lot line to lot line, which means it would impact more people. (Originally, distances were to be measured in a straight line from the closest point of the applicant’s dwelling unit to the closest point of the building.)
  • View more details on BL2019-78 here »

START BY EMAILING PLANNING COMMISSION


Stay up to date on all STRP happenings and support the short term rental community in Nashville by joining NASTRA today.

JOIN NASTRA

As a reminder, NASTRA is unable to provide information on specific properties/circumstances, therefore we are unable to reply to individual messages in that vein. In these instances, we suggest you contact an attorney. You can find contact information on our Friends of NASTRA page.

Share this article