New STR Proposal from Dickens 20-O-1656

From ATL Neighbors:

The 20-O-1656 Dickens STR Proposal

The 20-O-1656 Dickens STR ordinance was introduced at City Council on Monday, October 19th and has been referred to the Community Development/Human Services Committee. Based on comments from council and attached in our copy of the ordinance city council appears to be hammering out some additional details and sounds open to feedback. Specifically, council is still working through these details for 20-O-1656:

  • Do residents apply for permits through the city or through platforms like Airbnb?
  • The current language “primary residence plus two, then apply for a business license” is very likely to come down to “primary residence plus one.”
  • Have reviewed the ordinances for several other cities, and some have other pieces that we think should be considered and potentially added.

ATL Neighbors 20-O-1656 Analysis

The ATL Neighbors annotated version of 20-O-1656 includes our initial thoughts on 20-O-1656, which we summarize here. Please complete our brief questionnaire on 20-O-1656 to let us know your thoughts on this subject.


  • Posting basic information in the unit (However this should be expanded)
  • Having a 24 hour contact
  • Having a mechanism to revoke “certificates” for recurring violations
  • Tax parity with hotels


  • There are no caps or limits of any kind in this proposal. Taken to an extreme, the entire city could be bought up and turned into STRs.
  • There is no requirement of any short term listing platform in the ordinance whatsoever. No serious ordinance can omit this. As written this ordinance ignores the elephant in the room.
  • Imagine a sharable dockless mobility device ordinance where we ignored the platform and only required certificates for the individuals who charge the devices. That’s what this Short Term
  • Rental ordinance proposes to do.
  • Leaving final say on STR certificate revocation to the COO’s sole discretion with no documented evaluation criteria will carry an appearance of corruption to many citizens when unpopular decisions are made.
  • The proposal opines that “The use of property as a short term rental is a property right”, but does not appear to be tracked for zoning review or NPU input.

Missed Opportunities

  • It would be better for the COO or their designee(s) to define and publish STR rules that aren’t specified in the ordinance. This would help ensure that rules are understood by all parties and could evolve without the need for City Council to intervene. This mechanism could also be used to refine what information is to be posted in STRs and what safety standards units should meet prior to issuance of STR certificates. We can and should do a lot more to protect guests.
  • Audit homestead exemptions for any STRs to ensure compliance.
  • Do more to address affordable housing and reduce gentrification.
  • Distribute STRs more equitably across the city.

City Council Passes Party House Ordinance

The Party House Ordinance 19-O-1393 was passed by City Council unanimously with 14 votes on Monday, October 19th. The Zoning Number for this ordinance is Z-19-76. The ordinance is now at the Mayor’s office for signature. Our understanding is that 19-O-1393 becomes law later this week unless it is vetoed by the mayor’s office.

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