Councilman Reno-Weber announces significant improvements to the short term rentals ordinance
Louisville (September 20, 2023) – The Louisville Metro Council announces amendments to several sections of the Metro Land Development Code (LDC) and Section 115 of the Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government Code of Ordinances (LMCO) relating to short term rentals. These amendments, approved by the Metro Council in a unanimous vote on September 14, 2023, aim to create a balanced and sustainable approach to short term regulations within our vibrant community.
“These amendments address some of the issues that have been raised in the very robust conversations around this ordinance and I’m excited they have been passed. The basic premises of what we are trying to do is that in your primary place of residence you should be able to operate with maximum freedom consistent with being a good neighbor. In a place that is not zoned for operating a commercial hotel you should not be able to operate a commercial hotel,” said Councilman Reno-Weber.
The amendments reflect the city’s commitment to fostering responsible tourism and entertainment industries while preserving the character and quality of life for residents.
“These amendments also provide clear guidelines for Planning & Zoning staff, new technology to aid in the enforcement, and guidelines for when exceptions may be made,” said Councilman Reno-Weber.
These amendments come after months of thorough research, community input, and collaboration to strike a balance between the interests of property owners and the broader community. The Louisville Metro Council believes these changes will lead to a more sustainable and harmonious coexistence of short term rentals and residential neighborhoods.
Key highlights of the amendments include:
- At no time shall more persons reside in the short term rental than two times the number of bedrooms plus two individuals, except where the licensed registered property is in excess of two acres in which case the occupancy limit shall be two times the number of bedrooms plus six individuals. If the aforementioned occupancy allows for more than 12 individuals, there shall be a maximum of 12 persons over the age of 16. The Board may further restrict the number of individuals. Relief to this provision may be provided by the Board on a case-by-case basis if the applicant can demonstrate that a greater occupancy will be in compliance with life safety and occupancy standards and the short term rental is of a sufficient distance to not adversely impact a neighboring property.
- (1) Reasons for Potential Relief
(a) The property is adjacent to nonresidential zoning districts that allow short term rentals by right.
(b) There is a significant environmental feature or primary collector or higher classification road that separates the proposed short term rental from other short term rentals within the buffer area.
(c) A short term rental property within the buffer area is located on the perimeter of the buffer area, with part of the property being located outside of the buffer area.
(d) A neighborhood plan encourages and supports short term rentals in the subject area.
- In applications where the entire area encapsulated by the 600 foot buffer is residentially zoned (including TNZD areas mapped Neighborhood General), under no circumstance shall the Board provide relief to this provision in cases in which two or more short term rentals with conditional use permits are already in existence within 600 feet.
(2) The following exceptions to this separation requirement apply:
(2)(a) The separation requirement shall not apply to a property on which the conditional use permit is conditioned that the owner acts as host and maintains their 5 primary residency within another dwelling unit in the same building or on the same parcel of land.
(b) The separation requirement shall not apply between two or more short term rentals on a single property being reviewed under the same conditional use permit application. However, if the property is subdivided after the conditional use permit is granted, a new conditional use permit shall be required in order for any new lot(s) to have a short term rental, with the separation requirements applying to that subsequent
(c) The separation requirement shall not apply to a property in the TNZD district on which the conditional use permit is conditioned that the host shall maintain their primary residency within the dwelling unit.
- 517 Annual Registration Fee. A nonrefundable fee of $250 shall accompany the annual registration form of a short term rental. The fee shall go to the Office of Planning and Design Services for use in administration and enforcement of short term rentals only.
- The ordinance shall take effect upon its passage and approval or otherwise becoming law, and shall apply to (i) any conditional use permit application that has not yet been scheduled for a public hearing before BOZA as of the effective date, and (ii) to any new registration application that has not been approved as of the effective date.
Property owners, residents, and stakeholders are encouraged to review the full text of the amended Land Development Code here: https://louisvilleky.gov/metro-council/document/short-term-rentals-amended-091423.
For more information and on short term rentals, please visit https://louisvilleky.gov/government/planning-design/short-term-rental-information.