The Biloxi City Council voted to deny a short term rental request for a condominium unit last week, making the rental issues a huge topic for the city.
Short term rental is the rental of any residential or commercial dwelling for fewer than 30 days. Director of Community Development Jerry Creel says the City of Biloxi is experiencing some growing pains due to zoning. “Short term rental is allowed as a use by right in the commercial zones that allow a hotel, which for obvious reasons, it’s allowed as a conditional use in the residential multifamily zones which are typically for condos and apartments.”
Short term rental is not allowed in single family residential zones. This is a major concern for residents at Oak Shore Condominiums and Cypress Cove Apartments. Biloxi Councilman Paul Tisdale said, “They are looking at a rezoning of Oak Shores from a residential designation to a commercial designation.”
Three residents at Cypress Cove Apartments, who did not want to go on camera, discussed the importance of knowing their neighbors, fear of destruction of property, and not agreeing with the thought of having a short term rental. “In their contract, it actually had a statement in there that said short term rental would not be allowed. At some point, after a certain number had bought permanent units, they were advised by the Homeowner’s Association that rules had changed,” said Creel.
Tisdale said, “Others who have purchased the condos want to reside there and enjoy their property without folks who may come in, be disruptive, not keep the property clean.”
There are also tax issues from those who are renting out the condos. “As a condo owner who is going the short term rental route, you are supposed to be paying 12 percent taxes,” said Tisdale.
The Biloxi Planning Commission will have a meeting on Thursday at 2 to discuss rezoning. They will also have a public hearing where residents can express their concerns regarding the issue.