After concerns were raised by neighbors of a Jackson AirBnB located along Lakeside Drive, the condo owners who share a driveway with this property recently met with Jackson Councilman Ashby Foote and Director of Planning and Development Jordan Hillman.
Going into the meeting, condo owner Morrell Richardson hoped some clarification would be given to the current ordinance that would not allow for the AirBnB to be present in their neighborhood. The only ordinance for Jackson regarding short term rentals is for bed and breakfasts, which requires a location to either be on the National Registry of Historic Places, a designated Jackson Landmark or a Mississippi Landmark. It must have adequate parking provided, exterior lighting must face away from the adjacent property, and signage must comply with the city of Jackson signing ordinance. Bed and breakfasts must submit proof of this to the zoning division. Hillman, who is over zoning as part of the planning department, clarified that AirBnB is not considered a Bed and Breakfast.
“It wasn’t very encouraging,” Richardson said. “Hillman is very knowledgeable on the law and agrees with us that it is a bad situation, but she doesn’t feel like she can do anything with it.”
Foote said the meeting consisted of good, healthy discussion with the condo owners who were present, but there is no easy solution to the problem. He said they left the meeting with two next steps planned to pursue: one for the condo owners and one for the city. Foote said he advised the condo owners to formalize a formal homeowner’s association instead of the informal agreement the owners are currently operating with. As for Foote, he is beginning to work on developing an ordinance that will address the AirBnB situation in a constructive way that will put rules in place.
“The potential ordinance would put some rules in place that protect both current property owners and also protect folks that want to go through AirBnB to rent their property out and make sure that it doesn’t disturb the neighborhood or the quality of life that the local residents in the vicinity of the AirBnB currently enjoy,” Foote said. “That is where we left it after that meeting.”
Foote said developing the ordinance could take several months. It takes this time because Foote said he needs to ensure it is fair to all parties and needs to prepare hearings for the ordinance to show the impact on the neighborhoods.
Despite the next steps that were decided, Richardson said the owners were a little disappointed in the outcome, and that there wasn’t an immediate solution. However, he said it was a big deal that Foote and Hillman agreed to come to their neighborhood and meet with them, even if the outcome wasn’t what they’d hoped.
“Jackson is stretched too thin with the water problems, crime, potholes and abandoned buildings,” Richardson said. “Madison and Ridgeland may have some ideas that would work for Jackson. We were a little disappointed in the outcome.”