The fight between AirBNB legality in the cities of Miami and Miami Beach is just heating up.
Both cities will propose an ordinance Thursday that would prohibit all commercial activities in the residential areas of Miami and Miami Beach. Mayors Tomas Regalado and Mayor Philip Levine announced this at a joint press conference Monday morning.
The ordinance would prohibit single-family, residential homes from being used as commercial properties (e.g. short-term, travel-stay lodges and hotel spaces). This has been a controversial issue with many local AirBNB hosts who use the service to make income.
Local hosts argue that the service gives visitors and tourists a more intimate, affordable way to see and visit the cities. They also say that they are willing to negotiate taxes with the cities in order to continue offering lodging services.
Local host Gonzalo Vizcardo says that one of his guests enjoyed Miami and his AirBNB experience so much that he ended up moving into the community:
However, Mayor Levine says that the ordinance isn't a direct attack on AirBNB, it's a measure to keep the communities and residents safe.
"I love AirBNB. I think it's an extraordinary company... i just don't love it in Miami Beach. I do love it in areas of Miami Beach where it is legal... This is about the quality of life in Miami Beach and being able to protecting our residential neighborhoods ... whether in their buildings or in their homes."
Miami Beach Commissioner John Aleman notes that there are "tens of thousands of units in Miami Beach where it's perfectly legal to do a short-term rental." Aleman says she hopes home-sharing sites like AirBNB will make zoning maps available on their applications to designate where those rentals are legal and illegal.
Both mayors, the commissioner, and select homeowner's association leaders in attendance were in agreement that residential areas need to remain residential. "There's a certain quality of life that [homeowners] should be able to expect," Commissioner Aleman added. "It's our job as a city to protect that."
Airbnb's Ben Breitt blames the Mayor for not negotiating with them about neighborhood disruption concerns. He has told the Fernand Amandi Show that they've already addressed concerns in other communities.
The ordinance would ban all AirBNB short-term rentals in residential areas. The ordinance will be proposed and discussed Thursday. It will need commission approval.