Perryville plans to allow Airbnbs in residential zones

Published 6:25 pm Friday, November 22, 2019

Perryville City Council passed the first reading of a zoning ordinance amendment that will allow short-term rental properties, such as Airbnb and bed and breakfasts, within residential neighborhoods.

A second reading will be held at 6 p.m., Monday, Nov. 25 at the Perryville Community Center, which will make the amendment effective on Jan. 1, 2020.

At the special called meeting Thursday night, City Attorney Justin Johnson read a summary of the 110-page document, which is also currently being discussed and voted on by the county, Danville and Junction City. The amendment was originally sent to the council from Planning and Zoning with its recommendation prohibiting short-term rentals in single family zones.

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There was a lengthy discussion on whether or not council members Adam and Kelly Gray should recuse themselves from voting on the amendment as written. Because they own and operate an Airbnb within the commercial district, someone could argue that they had a conflict of interest, Johnson told the council. They had previously stated they were against allowing short-term rentals in residential neighborhoods.

When the vote was called for, the Grays recused themselves, leaving council member Carlos Miller voting for the amendment, which included keeping short-term rentals out of single-family neighborhoods. Council members Trent Bottom, Susan Parks and Chad Blackwell voted against it.

The council then discussed and voted on an amendment to the original 110-page amendment that would allow short-term rental properties in neighborhoods, which passed with Bottom, Parks and Blackwell in favor; Miller against; and the Grays again recusing themselves.

Once there was a consensus on which direction the council wanted to pursue pertaining to short-term rental properties, another vote was taken to approve the first reading of the document with the added short-term rental amendment. This time Adam Gray voted in favor of the document along with Bottom, Parks and Blackwell, while Kelly Gray abstained.

After the meeting, Adam Gray said he didn’t want to vote against the entire document based on that one aspect. However, he did want to make his opinion known.

During the earlier discussion about short-term rentals, Blackwell, Bottom and Parks said they thought since tourism was Perryville’s most important industry, having more available properties for overnight stays was important.

Blackwell said, “This was a huge win for the growth of Perryville tonight.”