This past year and as reported What Now Atlanta in October, City Planners have sought to provide a regulatory framework for short-term rentals (STR’s) in the City of Atlanta.
Despite recommendations of denial from 13 NPU’s and the Zoning Review Board, on December 6, in a nearly unanimous vote, the Atlanta City Council approved the zoning ordinance amendments, which clarifies the definition and use of the short-term rental and allowing the operation of STR’s in all residential districts, residential subareas of Special Public Interest Districts and where a dwelling unit permitted subject to other regulations in the Atlanta City Code.
This legislation follows action by the Council when they adopted the “City of Atlanta Short Term Rental Ordinance” earlier this year which established a legal process whereby residents may be authorized to rent their primary residence to short-term visitors, called “home-sharing.” Starting in March 2022, the Short-Term Rental Ordinance requires hosts who wish to engage in short-term rentals to apply for a license with the City and post their short-term rental license (STRL) on all advertisements.
According to information obtained from Airbnb and supported by a City Factsheet, STR’s are a tool for economic empowerment for Atlanta residents, helping local families pay their bills by sharing their homes. New hosts with only one listing in Atlanta collectively earned $8.5 million in the first half of the year. Most hosts on Airbnb are everyday people sharing the homes in which they live, and the typical Host earns $9,600 each year (as of April 30, 2021). Additionally, Airbnb guest spending supports local businesses. A recent Oxford Economics study found that Airbnb guest spending in Atlanta supported 3,400 jobs in 2019, including:
- 1,200 in the restaurant industry
- 1,200 jobs in the retail industry
- 400 jobs in the transportation industry
- 600 jobs in the entertainment industry.
In a statement submitted to What Now Atlanta from Tom Martinelli, the Airbnb Southeast Public Policy Director states, “With this 14-1 vote to approve the STR zoning ordinance, the Atlanta City Council has provided additional clarity to communities across Atlanta. The vote empowers entrepreneurs across the City as they use the ownership economy to create income, jobs, and build generational wealth. Airbnb looks forward to working with Mayor-Elect Andre Dickens and his administration throughout 2022 to support the City’s implementation of new STR rules, facilitate responsible hosting, and support tourism recovery.”