Murrysville council will consider updates to short-term rental regulations

Nov. 12—Murrysville council members will consider an ordinance addressing short-term rental properties.

Council directed its staff to prepare an ordinance which would decouple short-term rentals — including AirBnBs and VRBOs — from restrictions based on zoning. The ordinance also would set a maximum occupancy of two people per bedroom or 10 people per home, whichever number is smaller.

"I think we don't have an issue with this right now," Councilman Mac McKenna said. "But I also think it's something we should keep an eye on. I don't think it should be a zoning-based decision. It should be permitted and regulated through the municipality. It's not the municipality's place to say a resident can or can't rent their home."

Councilman Tony Spadaro was against having short-term rentals in residential neighborhoods.

"The more you get into the residential areas with these rentals, the more they become a business," he said. "So now a residential area starts to become mixed use. I think we should keep them out of residential altogether, allow them in our mixed-use and commercial districts."

Murrysville has ordinances that allow home-based businesses.

"We have clearly defined ordinances which discuss running a business out of your home," Councilwoman Jamie Lingg said. "I think we're making a mountain out of a molehill. The people renting these properties are giving their names, addresses and credit card numbers."

Lingg and other council members were in favor of eliminating zoning as an element of consideration.

"We've espoused keeping government small," Councilwoman Jamie Lee Korns said. "If it's lowering property values or affecting people's quality of life, that's one thing. But places where that's happened are usually big tourist areas. We dont have that here."

In terms of quality-of-life, Lee Korns said Murrysville's existing laws already address it.

"If someone is having a big party, that can affect quality-of-life," she said. "But we already don't allow that anywhere in the community. I don't think we need to single out short-term rentals."

Council President Dayne Dice said he didn't think Murrysville should be regulating something that is not a problem.

"I'm fine with registration, permits and inspection, and at this point, these have not been a problem," Dice said.

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick by email at or via Twitter .