2-9-18 8:38 AM EST | Email Article

Detroiters awoke Friday to reports the city had enacted a new zoning ordinance that bans the online hospitality marketplace Airbnb from operating in the districts where the majority of its hosts exist.

How It Happened

The new zoning ordinance went through the city's Planning Commission back in 2017, but just went into effect this week.

According to Curbed Detroit, Detroit Airbnb hosts have started receiving notices that the city has outlawed the service outside the R1 and R2 Districts.

The news took many locals by surprise. The city has been home to more than 400 active Airbnb hosts, and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan has even appeared in an Airbnb video.

"The administration is going to be studying this new ordinance that the city planning commission and the City Council put forth," Duggan spokesman John Roach told Crain's. "I think we have to enforce it, unless it's determined to be illegal — and I don't think anybody's making that case."

Detroit isn't the first city to clamp down on home-sharing. In 2016, New York banned advertisement of "short-term" rentals of less than 30 days on Airbnb, and Santa Monica requires hosts to live on the property during the renter's stay and collect an occupancy tax.

The Company's Response

Airbnb has issued a statement: "We're very disappointed by this turn of events. Airbnb has served as an economic engine for middle class Detroiters, many of whom rely on the supplemental income to stay in their homes. We hope that the city listens to our host community and permits home sharing in these residential zones."

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