New Bern joins other cities to regulate short-term rentals like Airbnb

Published: Oct. 24, 2019 at 8:11 PM EDT
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New Bern is changing its policy on allowing Airbnb to operate in the city. Airbnb is a popular online marketplace for arranging or offering short-term lodging, primarily homestays, or tourism experiences.

The city of New Bern voted Thursday to forbid short-term rental stays like Airbnb's in three residential zones.

City leaders will remove the designation of special use permits for the rentals now, but the city's Planning and Zoning Committee will study the impact on the city and reevaluate for the future.

Many said this comes after concerns from residents who don't want so much unpredictability in their community.

"It became overbearing to some of the homeowners who say look I, I live in a residential area, I thought this was residential. Now somebody's running a business out of their home," said Sabrina Bengel, New Bern's First Ward alderman.

However, opponents of the change say they rely on options like Airbnb's and banning them would complicate travel and possibly drive tourists away.

Although some residential areas will be affected, commercial zones will still be able to have short-term rentals.

The change for short-term rentals is effective on November 1st, 2019.