Ridgeland says ‘no’ to temporary rentals

Ridgeland says ‘no’ to temporary rentals


RIDGELAND — City officials here said the zoning ordinance does not allow for temporary rentals, such as those offered by websites such as Airbnb, and the city does not plan to change the ordinance.

The decision came after Brian Biernat made a presentation on short-term rentals to Mayor and Board of Aldermen during a Nov. 15 work session.

After city officials had had about two weeks to look over the proposal and consider Biernat’s presentation, Alan Hart, director of Community Development and Public Works, said Monday that the board’s position has not changed on the matter.

“There has not been any further action or discussion about Mr. Biernat’s proposal,” Hart said. “I do not see an interest by the Mayor and Board to devote any time on this matter.”

At the meeting, Biernat said he currently manages properties in Jackson that he rents out, usually on a short-term basis, through apps and websites such as Airbnb. Biernat said he felt the service would fill a need in the city and that, according to his reading, the city’s current zoning ordinance was not clear on the legality of such units.

Biernat argued that short-term rentals fill a need that hotels and apartments do not provide. Biernat said he had hosted people, including PGA golfers and hurricane refugees, in his properties as well as officials from big chain companies such as Starbucks and Chick-fil-A.

After hearing Biernat’s presentation, Mayor Gene F. McGee said that any further action would require community development to draft new language for the zoning ordinance and a public hearing and that they would not be taking any action on the presentation that week. However, he added that he “appreciated the information.”

In an email exchange Monday, Hart said the zoning ordinance is clear on its position on temporary rentals.

“The Ridgeland Zoning Ordinance has a clear definition for how rental units are defined,” Hart said. “Ridgeland simply does not allow for rental of a dwelling unit for less than 30 days. Any rental for less than 90 days would have to obtain a license from the Mayor and Board of Aldermen.”

All rental housing is subject to the regulations of the Property Maintenance Code, which includes the inspection requirement, Hart said.  

“The Zoning definition does not treat a whole property any different from one room,” Hart said. “Furthermore, Ridgeland also has additional regulations that govern a Boarding House.”

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