Broken Arrow approves moratorium on short-term rental apps
By John Dobberstein, Editor
Citing concerns that the “residential character and economic base” of Broken Arrow is could be threatened, the City Council Tuesday approved a 120-day moratorium on processing new applications for short-term rentals.
The resolution passed on a 5-0 vote is meant to give city staff enough time to finish reviewing the current status of short-term rentals and explore a potential ordinance that would regulate the rentals more tightly.
In fact, the city already has a draft ordinance prepared that may be considered by the Broken Arrow Planning Commission in February, said Interim Community Development Director Jill Ferenc.
City councilors have been discussing the issue of short-term rentals for several months and asked for a moratorium on applications to be drafted during their Jan. 3 meeting.
The resolution approved Tuesday vote says the residential character of Broken Arrow is “a source of pride and economic stability” for residents, but the recent trend of existing residential structures being used by owners for the primary purpose of renting to short-term rental occupants has created concerns.
The city defines “short-term rentals” as one or more permanent buildings containing guestrooms offered for the temporary abiding place of persons who are lodged within or without meals, for compensation.
The resolution says council members believe more specific zoning laws are needed to “address this increasingly popular land use activity” and that short-term rentals.
The council went so far so add that short-term rents have the potential to “create conflicts with their residential neighbors” and “degrade residential neighborhoods by introducing noise, parking congestion, and other detrimental impacts while also adversely affecting the traditional neighborhood character that results from a community of owner- occupied properties.”
Council members believe unregulated short-term rentals, or short-term rental occupancies “may be incompatible with residential neighborhoods and zoning districts” and such uses must be carefully regulated and monitored “to minimize deleterious effects in residential zoning districts.
“This is particularly so in those situations where the property owner is not present during times of short-term rental occupancy.”
Council members also believe a review of the Zoning Ordinance and Zoning Map is needed to determine how to best regulate short-term rental occupancy uses within the city “so as to avoid adversely impacting residential districts and the community character in general.”
The City Council, the Broken Arrow Planning Commission or some other assigned committee will complete an evaluation and assessment of existing short-term rental regulations and make recommendations to the City Council.
The resolution also says the city reserves the right to the moratorium period for 2 additional periods not to exceed 120 days each.