Regulating for Short-Term Rentals

APA Alabama Chapter


Friday, October 6, 2017
10:30 a.m. - noon CDT

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Regulating for Short-Term Rentals

Panel Discussion



The rise of the sharing economy has meant more flexibility in choices for consumers at the potential cost of safety and health protections that a regulatory structure can provide. In particular, home-sharing online platforms present the conflict between owners’ rights to use their property as they see fit, and the municipality’s interest in generating revenue, protecting public safety (e.g., fire protection), and providing affordable housing stock. The question for city planners and neighborhood organizations is how to balance these interests when preparing zoning ordinances and restrictive covenants.


This panel will explore how Airbnb, HomeAway, and others are changing the way planners look at short-term rentals. The panel will feature presentations from Stephen Deal and Kristina Alexander with the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Legal Program (MASGLP) along with Andy Bauer, the Planning Director for the city of Gulf Shores. The discussion will include a legal analysis of recent cases involving efforts to use old zoning laws and restrictive covenants to restrain a new economy, looking both nationally and in Mississippi and Alabama. Also, the panel will examine the pros and cons of allowing these rentals and how they can boost a city’s economy. Finally, Andy Bauer will provide a city staff perspective on how Gulf Shores changed its regulatory structure to provide more comprehensive standards for short-term rentals inside the city.




Stephen Deal

Stephen Deal holds a master’s degree in city and regional planning from Clemson University in South Carolina and a bachelor’s degree in history and urban studies from Furman University in Greenville, S.C. As an Extension Specialist in Land Use Planning for the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Legal Program ... Read More

Contact Info

Mac Martin,