Sununu opposes Airbnb’s bill freeze and other rental bans

Governor Chris Sununu said he was wary of a bill aimed at preventing cities from banning short-term vacation rentals, like Airbnbs, echoing concerns of local officials who said it would reduce the autonomy of cities in zoning and planning. .

“I’m afraid of the long-term implications,” Sununu told a news conference on Wednesday. “And I also don’t like telling cities what they can and can’t do. If you believe in local control, you believe in local control.

Sununu said he was ready to review the final version of the bill, but said anything that takes flexibility away from municipalities is “going down the wrong path”.

“That is, the state prohibits cities from controlling their own zoning ordinances and authorizing ordinances,” Sununu said of the legislation. “And the state really doesn’t do that. It’s really a local decision.

The proposal to ban local short-term rental bans has the support of the New Hampshire Association of Realtors and other players in the vacation rental market, including those who have been the target of ban attempts and court case in the Mount Washington Valley region. These supporters say the legislation would protect property rights and still allow municipalities to set rules for short-term rentals, without banning them altogether.

“The only thing SB 249 says is…you can’t ban them,” White Mountain Board of Realtors Chairman Paul Mayer said, as reported by the New Hampshire Bulletin. “You can regulate them, but you can’t ban them.”

But the legislation has also been critical by local mayors, the New Hampshire Municipal Association and others who say it could worsen the state’s housing crisis.

“If our supply was at a healthy level, if people could find housing, then of course having short-term rentals could make sense,” said Nick Taylor, executive director of the Workforce Housing Coalition of the Greater Seacoast. , as reported by the Bulletin.

“But in a situation where we’re already in such a hurry, taking a tool away from communities trying to tackle the housing crisis with smart local ordinances doesn’t make sense.”

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