ASHEVILLE (AP) — Five property owners have dropped a lawsuit against Asheville after the city agreed to review a ban on short-term private rentals offered by websites like Airbnb.
Lawyers for the property owners, who are members of Asheville Short Term Rental Advocates, said they agreed to drop the suit so they can instead put their money and time toward working with the city’s task force.
The group’s “limited resources are most effectively applied toward examining the potential solutions that may come out of the work of the task force,” attorney Derek Allen told the Citizen-Times of Asheville.
Asheville currently bans rentals for less than 30 days in areas zoned as residential. But the City Council agreed in May to have the task force look at allowing short-term rentals of garage and basement apartments and backyard cottages.
The city does allow short-term room rentals with a permit, but the space rented can’t be more than the majority of the home.
“City Council has taken a very reasonable, prudent approach that creates opportunity for individuals to tap into the tourism market and protects neighborhoods,” City Councilman Gordon Smith said. “We are also in the midst of a severe housing shortage and affordable housing crisis that illegal short term rentals have only exacerbated.”
Airbnb itself has also sued cities in California which ban short-term rentals.