Governor Doug Ducey has signed a bill designed to remedy abuses by some short-term rental owners operating in Arizona.
This bill was born of concerns due to issues raised in Fountain Hills and other communities of rental properties being used for “party houses,” special events or banquet events. The bill was introduced by Rep. John Kavanagh, a Fountain Hills resident.
The bill bans uses that are not traditionally residential uses such as event venues, retail uses, restaurant or banquet space. A provision limiting the number of rental guests per bedroom was removed. Uses generally need to conform to traditional zoning code regulations for residential neighborhoods.
In his signing letter Ducey still gave a strong indication he is a supporter of short-term rentals.
“Most short-term rental homeowners are good neighbors,” Ducey said. “(This bill) provides a straightforward enforcement mechanism to penalize ‘party house’ operators for not upholding existing laws on their properties.
“After solving this important enforcement challenge, I am hopeful that additional legislation regulating short-term rentals will not be needed.”
Ducey said he does not believe this bill will have any impact on the majority of short-term rental homeowners.
As something of a warning to municipalities, he also said he is open to taking corrective measures if the new law is being applied too broadly.
Noise and traffic issues were the biggest complaints that residents brought to the Fountain Hills Town Council when raising their concerns over the past couple of years.
There were complaints of the rental properties being used for big holiday parties, wedding venues and other special event activities.
The new law should allow the town to address many of those issues.