The City Council on Wednesday considers a request to begin looking at possible regulations over online services that let people rent apartments, such as Airbnb - and even Craigslist.
Councilor Sal LaMattina (North End, East Boston, Charlestown) says Boston needs to look at the burgeoning services before Boston's residential neighborhoods are harmed. In his request for a hearing, LaMattina writes:
Typical short-term lodging establishments - such as hotels, motels, bed-and-breakfasts, hostels, resorts, or inns - are regulated and taxed in a different manner than other commercial entities, including special fire safety requirements, state and city hotel room occupancy taxes, local convention center taxes affixed to hotel room rental, strict occupancy limits, among other various requirements. ...
These types of rentals have raised concerns and created problems in Boston and elsewhere when the spaces are used for loud or late-night gatherings and when the rentals lead to unauthorized access into condominium or apartment complexes, violations of City trash, parking and noise policies, or turn neighborhoods zoned for residential living into impromptu hotel districts.
The council's regular meeting begins at noon in its fifth-floor chambers in City Hall.