Paradise Valley Airbnb ordinance violates Arizona law, AG says

Jerod MacDonald-Evoy

Arizona Mirror

Arizona Attorney General concluded
that the most onerous parts of an ordinance passed earlier this year by the city of Paradise Valley aimed at curbing Airbnbs’ “party house” dispute with existing state law, putting $1.6 million dollars of the city’s shared state revenue in limbo.

Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s office made the findings after conducting what’s called an SB1487 investigation, named after a 2016 law that allows state lawmakers to initiate a review of any action by a municipality or county if they believe it violates state law. If the AG finds a violation, the offending law must be repealed or the violator loses all money they receive from state income tax revenues. In the case of Paradise Valley, that means $1.6 million.

“The Bureau has determined that most of the order does not violate state law,” the AG report says, while adding that the order still violates the provisions of a statute. 2016 lawsuit that prohibited municipalities from adopting certain regulations on short-term rentals. , also called STR.

Republican State Senator Warren Petersen filed the complaint
with the Attorney General’s office earlier this month. He argues that the order violates that law because it imposes different requirements on specific STRs, has “significant” new obligations for STRs, and “increasing regulatory burdens on businesses by subjecting platforms to new compliance requirements.” liability and disclosure in violation of state and federal laws.”

City ordinance requires owners to be on site for certain events, meet their guests within one hour of arriving at the property, conduct background checks on each guest, provide owner’s name and contact information to the city, to install a landline telephone, to prove that the customer is aware of the rules and regulations established by the city, to clean the air filters every three months and more.

Peterson himself previously operated a million dollar luxury STR on Airbnb and VRBO platforms in his hometown of Gilbert. He told the Arizona Mirror
that he no longer offers it for short-term rental; attempts to find it on these platforms prove futile. He did not respond to a request for comment on the AG’s findings on Paradise Valley’s order.

The AG determined that it was within the authority of the city to create an ordinance prohibiting STRs from harboring sex offenders, operating sober houses, selling illegal drugs or alcohol, dancing nude or topless and to have other businesses aimed at adults. He also determined that it was within the authority of the city to require an STR to provide contact information to city officials and provide proof of registration with the Maricopa County Assessor’s Office. as well as a valid transaction privilege tax license.

However, the city added additional check-in requirements and booking information requirements that the AG said were not legal.

While Paradise Valley may still be allowed to require STRs to install a landline and carry liability insurance, local authorities cannot require STR operators to meet guests in person prior to their stay and outline all the rules. and local regulations.

The AG also found that the additional fines created in the ordinance were authorized under the authority of the city – except for one imposed on an “online accommodation market” itself, which would have allowed the city to fine Airbnb and VRBO.

The Paradise Valley ordinance also attempted to regulate STRs by adding usage restrictions, which the AG said violated state law by preventing “social gatherings” from occurring more than twice a day. year.

“[T]”The city has failed to meet its burden of showing that the primary purpose of preventing indefinite ‘social gatherings’ from occurring more than twice a year is to protect public health and safety,” the report concluded. ‘AG. Under the 2016 law, municipalities are allowed to regulate STRs if the issues fall within the realm of public health and safety.

While the AG says Paradise Valley can request information about the state’s TPT license and contact information for an STR owner, the city’s reservation information disclosure requirements go beyond the scope of application of the 2016 law and are therefore illegal.

“If the legislature had intended for a town or city to require the disclosure of such detailed information, it would have said the same,” the report said.

The AG’s office said in its report that the city should “either repeal or amend” the ordinance so that it conforms to state law” or the attorney general will notify the treasurer of the state. state, which will retain state-shared funds,” the report said. Paradise Valley will have 30 days to “resolve the violation” or lose its state-shared revenue.

The city can also take the matter directly to the Arizona Supreme Court. Such was the case with Tucson
who faced a challenge similar to an ordinance that allowed the city to destroy seized weapons. The court ultimately ruled in favor of the state, saying the order conflicted with state law, which requires guns to be sold and not destroyed, upholding the 1487 finding. Tucson ultimately repealed the ordinance and the Tucson Police Department now auctions his confiscated weapons by state law.

Paradise Valley Mayor Jerry Bien-Willner did not respond to a request for comment.

– 30 –

Comments are closed.