If you’re renting out a room on Airbnb in Sandy Springs, should your neighbors know?

That question was debated by officials at the March 6 City Council meeting. The discussion followed the council’s recent approval of registration and licensing requirements for such short-term rental businesses.

The approval of those new regulations in February included language about notifying all property owners and residents within 500 feet about the short-term rental and providing emergency contact information.

At the March 6 meeting, Assistant City Manager Jim Tolbert said he had heard concerns about that provision and wanted feedback on tweaking it. He said the 500-foot notification was not literally required in the new regulations, but was something the city intended to request.

Mayor Rusty Paul and Councilmembers Tibby DeJulio, John Paulson and Jody Reichel said they supported a requirement to notify the local homeowners association or owners of adjoining properties. Councilmember Andy Bauman said that not all areas have HOAs and said that any such notice should go to managers of multifamily properties, too.

But on a bigger point, Bauman said he opposes a notice requirement. City licenses and permits are already public records, he said, and noted that other types of businesses do not have such a notification requirement.

“I personally would be opposed to it,” he said. “It’s sort of a notification without meaning.”

Paul, however, supported the proactive notification.

“If the identity of my neighbors was changing on a daily basis, I’d like to know about it,” he said.

The discussion came in a non-voting “work session,” with Tolbert gaining consensus to draft a policy for a future council vote.

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