EUREKA SPRINGS, Ark. – Eureka Springs has imposed a moratorium on new bed-and-breakfast inns in residential areas.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (http://bit.ly/292TJNz ) reports that Alderman James DeVito proposed the six-month moratorium at the Eureka Springs City Council meeting on Monday.
DeVito says the B&Bs are displacing rental property in the city. The moratorium gives the Council time to study the issue.
“The fewer homes we have available in this community, the fewer families we’re going to be having living here that support the tax base, that send kids to the schools, that shop at the local grocery stores, that frequent the restaurants in the community. When we lose the fabric of being a community, we lose probably one of the best draws we have about being Eureka Springs,” DeVito said.
Alderman Mickey Schneider voted against the proposal, saying people who stay in the city’s B&Bs are “temporary locals,” and that there has always been a lot of them.
“They are like locals who go downtown and spend money,” Schneider said.
Alderman David Mitchell told the Council that he understands the residents’ concerns, citing that they don’t want to be burdened with transient people in tourist lodging or B&Bs.
Tourist lodging refers to a place like a B&B but without an owner or manager on site, and no meals are provided to customers.
A city ordinance has banned new tourist lodging in the city’s Victorian residential area since 2000.
Mitchell said Airbnb has made it easy for people to list property online. He said people have seen an opportunity to rent a room in their house, and the only way for them to do it legally is to obtain a B&B licenses which are not restricted.
Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com