LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Clark County officials approved an ordinance to regulate short-term rentals on Tuesday, legalizing rentals but frustrating many in attendance who didn’t like the rules that are being put in place.

The back-and-forth between commissioners and people in attendance got nasty at points before a unanimous vote to OK the regulations.

Commissioner Jim Gibson railed at suggestions that the Nevada Resort Association was behind the rules, and emphasized that the commission had worked hard to get feedback from the community. Commissioners said their constituents didn’t like short-term rentals in their neighborhoods, citing problems including noise, traffic and trash.

Among the rules:

  • Not more than 1% of housing in the county can operate as short-term rentals
  • No more than one license per person
  • Maximum occupancy of two people per bedroom or 10 people per unit
  • Bookings must be a minimum of two nights
  • Minimum two-night stay for every reservation
  • Not within 1,000 feet of an existing short-term rental
  • Not within 2,500 feet of a resort hotel (state-mandated)

Airbnb issued a statement Tuesday following the commission’s vote:

“From the start, hosts on Airbnb have offered to work with Clark County commissioners on rules that allow regular people to share their homes to earn extra income and to support the region’s tourism economy, both of these are needed now more than ever as residents continue to navigate economic headwinds,” said John Choi of Airbnb. “Today Clark County commissioners passed new rules that are stricter than what is required by state law and will take money out of the pockets of Nevada residents and the local tourism economy.”

Even though short-term rentals have been illegal, they have continued to operate without county regulation, and Clark County needed to put rules in place and begin collecting fees from properties that were making money while the county sat on the sideline.

Clark County Commissioner Justin Jones. (KLAS)

The 2021 Nevada Legislature mandated that Clark County allow short-term rentals in AB 363.

“This is a business. This is no longer a residential home,” said Commissioner Marilyn Kirkpatrick, voicing frustration at some of the debate over details as questions about the size and location of placards came up.

“The digital age is here, and the platforms have no investment in our community,” Kirkpatrick said.

People in attendance criticized the county’s ability to enforce anything and questioned whether enough thought had gone into policing the rules that are being put in place.

“It’s sure as hell better than what we’ve got right now,” said Commissioner Justin Jones. He pointed out: “Right now, we have multiple officers out there on the street, and we’re not collecting a dime from any of the short-term rental operators.”

8 News Now spoke with local rental hosts and residents who said they are still not pleased with the new guidelines.

“This ordinance, if it’s passed as written, is going to cause you more problems than you have right now and it’s not going to help the neighborhoods they will be further disrupted and it won’t help the resorts,” Julie Davies with the Nevada Vacation Rental Management Association said.

Local short-term rental host Bo Theodore has a few rentals in unincorporated Clark County but said he doesn’t agree with how the county is going about the process.

“Unfortunately, this one percent rule and the other rules that they have set up for signing up just doesn’t make a lot of sense,” Theodore said. “I have two rentals in the same development that are 700 feet apart and that thousand-foot rule would disqualify those so that doesn’t work for me.”