Ocean Springs mulls short term vacation rental ordinance - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Ocean Springs mulls short term vacation rental ordinance

Some residents talked about how they would feel about having vacationers in their neighborhoods.  (Photo source: WLOX) Some residents talked about how they would feel about having vacationers in their neighborhoods. (Photo source: WLOX)
OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) -

Ocean Springs is exploring allowing people to rent out their single family homes as short term vacation rentals. The city has drafted an ordinance permitting houses and condos in residential areas to be rented for fewer than 30 days with some stipulations.

Some residents talked about how they would feel about having vacationers in their neighborhoods.

Ocean Springs resident Mike West is looking forward to Cruisin' the Coast and meeting all the classic car lovers who come to town. He said some of them will likely be staying at the bed and breakfast right across the street from his house.

"It's really not been any problem at all. It's been an asset, I would say, in that different folks from around the country come and participate and stay," said West.

Ocean Springs is considering allowing owners to rent their houses to vacationers. Unlike a hotel or bed and breakfast, only the vacationers would be able to stay on the property.

"I would not mind it at all. Most of my belief in people is positive, so that's the way I feel," said Ocean Springs resident Nita Shipman.

"I think if it's well controlled, then I don't see any problem with it," said West.

However, some homeowners feel having different tourists coming and going every few days would be too disruptive. One of the possible stipulations includes giving neighbors the ability to reject short term rentals if they are right next door.

Max Hewish doesn't want to see people coming and going from his neighborhood all the time.

"I think I would be concerned about their lack of concern about their neighbors. If they're only in for a few days, they may be more likely to be a little more in a party mood than the neighborhood might be," said Hewish.

City officials said in the ordinance that short term rentals provide, "For another type of short-term stay opportunity similar to hotels, motels and bed and breakfast facilities and will aid and encourage tourism."

During the public hearings, residents will get their say if those rentals are a threat to their peace and quiet. Some people told us they would like to see Ocean Springs pursue attracting more small hotels rather than the house vacation rentals.

The preliminary draft of the ordinance says in order to have a short term rental, a license would be required, room taxes would have to be paid and the maximum occupancy would have to be determined by a building official inspection. Also, all adjacent property owners would have to agree, and subdivisions with covenants that do not allow short term rentals will not be considered.

WLOX has been told the stipulations for short term rentals are subject to change as the ordinance must go through the planning commission and a public hearing before being adopted.

Copyright 2014 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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