In a split vote by the Clarksville City Council, an ordinance to rid Clarksville of its short-term rental regulations failed.
At the council’s April 1 regular meeting, Councilmember Trisha Butler, the sponsor of the ordinance that would have repealed the council’s short-term rental policy, made a passionate plea to amend the code.
In September, the regulations were put in place by the previous council.
Butler called the regulations overreaching and a micromanagement of the citizens of Clarksville who rent out the homes. She said the code’s institution last year was a waste of taxpayer dollars.
The first reading of the measure to amend the code was approved in February.
Prior to the April 1 vote, Butler talked about a Facebook poll, which showed 75% of Clarksville residents opposed to the short-term rental regulations, which was negated by Councilmember Stacey Streetman.
“We can’t just use Facebook polls to make decisions,” Streetman said. “Facebook polls are from those who choose to respond…and from those who follow you.”
Streetman said the policy in place was not for the purpose of overreach but for the safety of the people who live in the neighborhoods of rentals, as well as the guests who visit Clarksville.
“We worked hard to be able to craft this,” Streetman said. “I ask that you vote against this repeal in order to keep this in place. This is a growing industry, and we need to take into our consideration our community.”
Some of the short-term rental regulations under question included requirements for owners to first get a permit to operate.
It addressed notification to neighbors of the dwellings, the number of guests allowed in a rental space, inspections from the city’s building and codes department and fire officials.
It required a specific time for owner availability during a renter’s stay.
The vote to amend the official code relative to short term rentals failed on a 6-7 vote.
Voting yes were Butler and Wanda Allen, Ashlee Evans, Richard Garrett, Vondell Richmond and Wanda Smith.
No votes came from Streetman and Jason Knight, Travis Holleman, Karen Reynolds, Dajuan Little, Wallace Redd and Mayor Joe Pitts.