Public hearing on short term rentals in Biloxi

With the hot topic of short term rentals in the City of Biloxi, there was a full house for the public hearing in the auditorium of the Biloxi Community Development building regarding the issue.

One by one, locals walked up to the podium to make their voices heard at the public hearing. Biloxi resident Marty Miller said, “Short term rentals are short term rentals. I don’t know if they are going to be a fad. I just feel like we are going to sooner than later have to step up to the plate on that issue.”

Major changes recommended by the Biloxi Planning Commission include hotels already allowing short term rentals will be conditional use. Meaning owners in commercial zones will go before the commission for approval. Biloxi resident Brandon Wooldridge said, “I don’t think we should be going out of our way to make it more difficult to bring developers in the market.”

Short term rentals are still prohibited in single family zones. Some residents are against short term rentals because of the current peaceful atmospheres of their homes. Cypress Cove resident James Cascio said, “In the summer months, if there’s a bunch of Air BnB people there, it’s nothing but total chaos and noise. That is my reason why I want to keep it out of Cypress Cove.”

Another recommendation includes a $500 fine per violation per day until the issues are resolved. “When you put the fine on it, you are going to see people coming out of the shadows and getting registered because they don’t wanna pay the fees.”

More than 160 applications were filed in recent weeks. Although changes have to be approved by the city council, some residents just want the best solution for Biloxi. “Right now, there’s a lot of vacant real estate along the beach and neighborhoods that needs to be developed.”

“Whatever our city council and planning commission does, that it’s done with the thought of long term benefit.”

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