I’ve become aware there is some confusion about what the City Council has done regarding vaction rentals like AirB&Bs. To clarify, the updated regulations on vacation rentals do not make anything illegal that has not already been illegal for quite some time.
Whole house vacation rentals are and have been against the law in Astoria. We have increased the fines to discourage those who are flouting this law. A whole house vacation rental is basically a commercial enterprise in a residential zone. It weakens neighborhoods and diminishes our supply of housing for people who work here. A growing problem in some tourist-popular cities is that Wall Street investment trusts are buying up scores of houses for the sole purpose of turning them into vacation rentals. We can’t let that happen here.
People can still have vacation rentals in the homes in which they live. They just have to get a permit, a business license and collect room tax, just like bed and breakfast inns.