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September 22, 2019Cart

Business

by Fairfield County Business Journal
by FCBJ

New Canaan considers oversight of local Airbnb activity

New Canaan’s Town Council is taking aim at the local proliferation of Airbnb rentals and its impact on the quality of life.

According to a report in NewCanaanite.com, Steve Karl, the co-chairman of the council’s Bylaws and Ordinances Subcommittee, argued that the town needs to “get ahead of abuse of that app” in regard to problems arising from short-term rentals of New Canaan properties.

“We have had issues,” Karl said. “Folks that are using it on more frequent basis, neighbors that are complaining about some transient activity at homes.”

Karl noted that the town is looking into imposing a commercial use tax for homeowners that lease out their residences via Airbnb. He added that New Canaan zoning regulations allow a “rooming house” use by special permit within New Canaan’s B Residential Zone, while special permits are required for turning a private home into a bed-and-breakfast.

Councilwoman Penny Young also raised concerns about the lack of regulatory oversight on Airbnb rentals. “You have the potential for some serious things happening in people’s homes that we are not monitoring what is going on,” she said. “Are there fire codes? Are there health codes? There are all kinds of things that would have greater consideration.”

There are currently more than one dozen New Canaan properties available for nightly rentals on Airbnb, ranging in price from $86 to $450 per night.