Boston Leaders Debate Proposed Airbnb Regulations at Hearing - NBC10 Boston

Boston Leaders Debate Proposed Airbnb Regulations at Hearing

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    Hearing on Proposed Airbnb Regulations

    Boston City Hall was packed Monday as officials held a hearing on proposed regulations to short-term rentals through services like Airbnb.

    (Published Monday, May 21, 2018)

    The Boston City Council held a public hearing Monday, and it could be their last hearing before a crucial vote that would toughen regulations on short-term rentals.

    Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is proposing to reign in the short-term rental industry with what would virtually ban anyone who does not live on the property from renting it out. Those on both sides of the debate packed the room to make their final pitch.

    Supporters of the regulations say it would free up housing inventory and improve neighborhood quality, but opponents say it would eliminate their industry, which many consider their livelihood.

    "They are just going to squash my business," Terrence Heinen said, who owns several investor units. "I have cleaners. I have plumbers. I have people who rely on me."

    Clerk Pulls Out Machete on Would-Be Robber

    [NATL] Clerk Pulls Out Machete on Would-Be Robber

    A would-be robber armed with a knife had a surprise in store when an Alabama store clerk pulled out a machete in defense. The two's brief knife fight was caught on camera before the clerk runs out to damage the robber's car.

    According to police, suspect Seth Holcomb walked up to the counter to make a purchase. He leaves the store and then comes back in as if to make a second purchase. Then, he pulled out a knife at the counter. What he didn't expect was that the clerk would pull out a machete of his own.

    (Published Wednesday, March 20, 2019)

    Others say the explosion of short-term rentals has led to an increase of complaints in their residential buildings. Richard Alferis, who lives on Beacon Hill, said his building has been taken over.

    "They are drinking all night. They are running in the halls. It is really a safety and security issue. I'm very concerned," Alferis said.

    "Our community has serious concerns with the current short-term rental ordinance. It prohibits renters from home sharing and creates bureaucratic hurdles for homeowners," Will Burns, public policy director for Airbnb Massachusetts, said in a statement. "We are pleased our hosts had a platform to show how this proposal will affect their ability to make a little extra income and support their families. Home sharing rules should be simple and fair for all Bostonians, and we look forward to continued work in that direction."

    Members of the Boston City Council appeared divided on the topic at Monday's hearing, with many asking for more data before making a decision. The chairman of the committee, Boston City Councilor At-Large Michael Flaherty, will now bring what was discussed at the hearing to the administration before bringing it to a vote.

    "They want to be regulated and they don't mind being taxed. They get that part, but they just don't want to be eliminated," Flaherty said. "At the same time, we're trying to balance the residents, constituents and taxpayers as to what's in their best interest."

    The soonest a decision could be made is at Wednesday's city council meeting. If it passes as is, the regulations would not take effect until January of 2019, but the council could still move that date.

    YouTube Mom Accused of Abusing Foster Kids for Clicks

    [NATL] YouTube Mom Accused of Abusing Foster Kids for Clicks

    Machelle Hackney of Maricopa, Arizona, is accused of forcing her adopted children to participate in her YouTube channel and abusing them if they did not recall their lines or perform as directed. Hackney's channel had accrued hundreds of millions of views since she joined in 2012.

    (Published Wednesday, March 20, 2019)

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