Boston Tightens Regulatory Screws on Airbnb

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STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | San Francisco mayor’s election is resolved … St. Louis airport privatization … Alaska governor uses line-item veto … and a “funny looking” but dangerous foam in Michigan.

Here are state and local government news stories that caught Route Fifty’s attention …

  • Boston, Massachusetts: The Boston City Council on Wednesday passed rules for Airbnb and other short-term rentals that Mayor Marty Walsh is expected to approve. The proposal—which would ban tenants and investors from renting out units but permit homeowners and owner-occupants of two- and three-family houses—is “among the most stringent efforts in the nation to regulate the burgeoning industry.” [The Boston Globe]
  • San Francisco, California: Former California state Sen. Mark Leno conceded the San Francisco mayor’s race on Wednesday to Board of Supervisors President London Breed after a lengthy process to count the final votes. Breed will become the first African-American woman to serve as mayor of San Francisco. “I’m so hopeful about the future of our city. I’m looking forward to serving as your mayor, and I’m truly humbled and truly honored,” Breed said. [San Francisco Chronicle]
  • St. Louis, Missouri: The St. Louis Board of Estimate and Apportionment OK’d a contract on Wednesday with an advisory team that will solicit proposals to privatize the management and operations of St. Louis Lambert International Airport. The only reason to consider this is to get a better airport,” Mayor Lyda Krewson said in a statement. [St. Louis Public Radio]
  • Oscoda, Michigan: A firefighting retardant using chemicals called polyflouroalkyl substances, or PFAS, has been turning up in Van Etten Lake as a “funny looking foam.” But that foam is dangerous. “It’s unusual and it’s kind of sticky, and it piles up and it’s a little bit sudsy looking,” said Anthony Spaniola, who owns a local cottage. “It’s something that would probably attract a child… but it’s not something you’d want your child playing in.” [WUOM / Michigan Radio]
  • Salt Lake City, Utah: If Mayor Jackie Biskupski wants to sue the state over plans for an inland port in northwest Salt Lake City, she will first have to get approval from the city council according to language “tucked quietly into the city’s annual budget.” [Salt Lake Tribune]
  • Atlantic City, New Jersey: The local tax rate would remain flat in 2018 after city council members introduced a $225 million budget on Wednesday, which is set for a final vote in July. On Tuesday, Mayor Frank Gilliam and City Council President Marty Small Sr. announced that city employees making an annual salary of $40,000 or less would get a one-time $500 stipend as a “small token of appreciation.” [Press of Atlantic City]
  • Anchorage, Alaska: Gov. Bill Walker used his line-item veto to ax a $500,000 vitamin D study and $2.5 million in appropriations that would have been used to reawaken a long-discussed bridge over Knik Arm in the Anchorage area. [KTUU]
  • Montpelier, Vermont: After vetoing the state legislature’s first budget proposal, Gov. Phil Scott is prepared to nix a second budget proposal but could face a legislative attempt to override his action. "It's in their [the Legislature's] hands at this point. I've laid out what my conditions are, I said no taxes and fees this year. I've been consistent over the last two years with that,” Scott said. “They continue to send me budgets that, uh, don't allow for that, so they have that choice." [NBC5]
  • Billings, Montana: Local officials are starting an 18-month public effort to revamp the Billings’ planning code, which includes “regulations and ideas that may have been cutting edge when President Nixon was still in the White House.” [Billings Gazette]

Michael Grass is Executive Editor of Government Executive's Route Fifty and is based in Seattle.

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