A Senate bill pending before the Tennessee General Assembly has recently been amended to specifically prevent a local governing body from prohibiting or limiting the use of property as a short-term rental. The amendment "supersedes any ordinance, resolution, regulation, rule, or other requirement of any type enacted, maintained, or enforced by a local governing body that is not expressly authorized by this chapter." This will have the effect of rendering any local ordinance or resolution which does not comply with the state act (assuming it is passed) ineffective. Following on the heels of the controversy surrounding the adoption of the new Metro ordinance relating to short-term rental properties, this would seem to be directed precisely at that new legislation.
The proposed amendment places limits on the regulatory authority of local governments, such as for example, allowing a maximum number of bedrooms so long as that number is equal to four or greater, and the number of persons may be restricted so long as that number is not less than two persons times the number of bedrooms plus for additional people.
There has been a good deal of speculation about a state statute either preempting this area of local zoning regulation, or restricting the manner in which such regulations could be adopted and enforced. This amendment as proposed certainly presents the other side of the issue – and it is the very difficulty which many members of the Metro Council worried about when considering the recently adopted bill here in Metro Nashville. Below is a link to the proposed amendment: