City leaders in Arkansas consider banning Airbnb’s after complaints

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MARION, Ark. — City leaders in Marion, Arkansas are looking to ban short-term home renting from neighborhoods after receiving complaints about Airbnb’s.

Brenden King planned on turning his home purchase on River Trace into a constant flow of cash. In fact he was booked through the rest of 2019. That’s until neighbors made a fuss. “We got a cease and desist notice, so we ended up taking down our listing from the Airbnb website. We were pretty shocked by the heavy handedness from the city.”

Many of the Marion Airbnb’s are marketed as the perfect distance from downtown Memphis.

King says the city threatened to file criminal charges. City planner Ed Cain says the concern over people renting homes in neighborhoods has caused them to take a look at the zoning ordinance and try to ban the practice. “A lot of people would probably say it’s a great idea as long as it doesn’t happen next door to me,” he said.

The ordinance would stop short-term renting of homes in residential areas.

Neighbors have mixed feelings about short-term rental homes next door. One neighbor showed us pictures of what he calls the daily traffic that goes on. “With the amount of traffic they were having, we didn’t know if it was a drug house,” the neighbor said.

Lance Scarborough says he doesn’t mind it. “People who are traveling with Airbnb aren’t typically your criminals.”

The changes to the ordinance are not final yet.

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