Brookhaven zoning changes limit Airbnbs, tackle affordable housing

File photo

File photo

The Brookhaven City Council approved an overhaul of the city’s zoning laws, including new affordable housing incentives and a ban on renting out single-family homes to vacationers.

That change will affect homeowners who lease their property for 30 days or less at a time through short-term rental services like Airbnb or VRBO. Condominiums and other multi-family units can still be rented out, but owners are now required to apply for a permits through the city.

Councilman Joe Gebbia recused himself from voting on the Airbnb regulations. His son is a co-founder of the company.

Brookhaven's zoning overhaul includes incentives for developers aimed at increasing the number of affordable housing units along Peachtree Road and Buford Highway. The City Council decided against making those incentives city-wide.

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Developers who submit rezoning or special land-use permit applications will also be required to build affordable housing units, defined as accessible to families making no more than $59,825 annually.

Councilman Bates Mattison was the only person to vote “no” on the zoning overhaul. He said Brookhaven should be doing more, and he worries the new rules may be counter-productive.

“As a smaller, more nimble city, we should be able to drive more innovation ideas that become the model for smart solutions for affordable housing in the Metro Atlanta area,” he said.

Mayor John Ernst said the zoning overhaul was just one step in tacklining these issue, but conversations will continue at the City Council and with the Brookhaven Development Authority about how to ensure people living in Brookhaven now won't be priced out.

“Affordable housing is not solved by just one issue alone,” Ernst said.