Airbnb basically banned in Canton, but it's not a big loss for the home rental site

CANTON, OH (WOIO) - On Monday the Canton City Council voted to make it extremely tough, if not impossible, to rent a home or room on the popular vacation site Airbnb in its city.

By clarifying city zoning laws, the council has clarified that only homes in an area zoned R4 (multi family residential) and higher, can be rented out on limited time basis and only if they have a conditional release use permit.

The original complaints came from homeowners not happy with the idea of people coming in and out of neighborhoods that are zoned for single family use.

"Because there was some movement on the part of some council members to try to modify the ordinance in some way to allow these types of businesses in R1, many people came to voice their opinions both pro and con," Kristen Bates Aylward said who is the Law Director for Canton. "The end decision of Council, however, was to go with the Planning Commission's recommendation and only modernize language at this point and keep the same zoning plan in place."

By updating the zoning laws there are now teeth for people who violate the ordinance and continue to rent through Airbnb.

"The consequences under the zoning ordinances for opening an Airbnb in an area where they are not permitted , like RI (single family dwellings) is a fine of up to $500 per day of violation and costs. They could also be subject to a lawsuit in a Court seeking an injunction," Bates Aylward said.

Although Airbnb declined to comment for this story they have sent Cleveland 19 the top 25 performing Airbnb cities in Ohio, and Canton does not make the list.

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