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Bill Author Puts Clock On Final Negotiations Over Airbnb Bill

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Photo: Brandon Smith/IPB News

House and Senate lawmakers meet in conference committee about the bill barring locals from banning short-term rentals such as Airbnb.

The author of a bill barring local communities from banning short-term rentals – such as Airbnb – put a clock on final negotiations over the controversial measure.

Rep. Matt Lehman’s (R-Berne) bill – as it currently stands – would limit rentals to no more than 30 days in a row and 180 days total in a year. It would also require owners to have liability insurance.

A proposed update to the bill that Lehman presented at a conference committee hearing would eliminate the insurance requirement and let local communities allow renting for more than 180 days in a year.

Lehman says he’s open to other changes – including creation of a registry for short-term rentals – but put a deadline for those proposals.

“Come with your ideas by the close of business tomorrow so we can vet those over the weekend. And then probably Monday, if we don’t have any additional suggestions or things that are workable, then we will probably withdraw the dissent and file a concurrence and move the bill as it is now,” Lehman says.

Sen. Karen Tallian (D-Portage) says there’s room for compromise – but Lehman’s current proposal isn’t it.

“Anyone can open up an unregulated hotel in an R-1 [residential] district and I think that just does a terrible thing to Indiana’s zoning laws,” Tallian says.

The bill struggled to pass the House in the session’s first half.

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