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“Test the Waters” provision sinks

Friday, December 18, 2015 by Elizabeth Pagano

In what was a (blessedly) brief conversation, City Council voted unanimously on Thursday to lift the “Test the Waters” provision in the Short-Term Rental Ordinance. The provision has allowed those who operate STRs to advertise their rentals without a license, which has made it difficult for the city to enforce the ordinance. Only Council Member Don Zimmerman questioned the wisdom of the provision, asking, “What’s to stop competitors from advertising on behalf of someone who’s not licensed, and then people who are not licensed get a fine or citation from code compliance because there is an advertisement on the Internet that they didn’t authorize?” He was told that there would be an investigation to determine whether the house was actually an unlicensed short-term rental. “That works for me,” said Zimmerman. Council also set a date for the bulk of the proposed changes to the ordinance, which it will take up on Jan. 28.

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