Short Term Rentals in Biloxi

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Each year tourists pour into Biloxi for all of the activities on the Coast. To make extra money, some residents rent out their homes to accommodate tourists looking for alternatives to hotels or condos. Some locals welcome the idea of more short term rentals in Biloxi, but others are worried it could change their neighborhoods for the worst.
Edgewater Park is a stable neighborhood in Biloxi, quiet and full of many retired residents. But proposed changes in Biloxi’s short term rental regulations have some residents fearing their neighborhood could be unsafe. Ruth Wall, Edgewater Park resident, said, “You may have somebody next door to you that you have no idea who they are, where they are, where they’re from. I don’t think that’s right for a neighborhood. I think it will deteriorate neighborhoods rather than improve them.”
Ruth Wall approached City Council fighting to keep short term rentals away from her residential neighborhood. Current regulations do not allow short term rentals in single family zones like Edgewater Park, unless under conditional use which must be approved by the planning commission and the city.
Jerry Creel, Biloxi’s director of community, said, “Last week, the first one in a single family house was approved on Briarfield.”
A local resident transformed the Briarfield home for short term rental use and the planning commission and city approached it. Creel says renting out that home will allow the home owner to cover costs of high flood insurance. “It’s a divisive issue. There are people that are either strongly in favor of it or strongly against it. What we are trying to do is find some middle ground where it can be allowed in the proper areas.” Creel assures the changes will not affect Edgewater Park or neighborhoods like it.
Biloxi Planning Commission will work to reword current short term rental regulations and hold a public hearing on the new laws before seeking City Council’s approval within the next 75 days.

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