Short-term rental regulations are potentially coming

Read about the draft proposal for regulations + zoning amendments to local short-term rentals.

A white kitchen with gold fixtures and hardwood floors

Historic South Hill Mansion | Photo via Airbnb

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Regulation of short-term rentals (STRs) could soon become a reality in Lexington.

Earlier this week, the General Government and Planning Committee passed a resolution (voted on unanimously) that would begin changing city ordinances pertaining to STRs. They also passed a motion to update zoning regulations.

The zone text amendment has now been moved to the city council agenda and is expected to be voted on later this month. A full breakdown of zoning amendments is available via the Committee.


Through partnerships with STR platforms like Airbnb, Expedia, and VRBO, Fayette County collects local hotel taxes. In 2021, that number was $970,000. That money goes to VisitLex, and towards the debt from the $350 million Central Bank Center expansion, reports the Herald-Leader.

The proposed changes were created by a Lexington Fayette Urban County Government workgroup — which included members of city council, the division of planning, the department of revenue, and research analysts. There are four key components to the draft proposal —

  • Fees
  • Structure Licensing
  • Enforcement and Appeals
  • Zoning Regulations

Between March 2022 and February 2023, the workgroup held a total of 15 meetings with STR owners and residents of neighborhoods with a higher number of STRs. This provided a platform for open dialogue + feedback, which helped draft the changes.

Proposed changes

  • An annual $200 license fee for one property + $100 annually for each additional property
  • Report annual number of stays
  • Maximum of 12 guests per property
  • Owners that host on platforms other than those listed above will remit hotel taxes to the city.
  • Increased regulation of where and what types of STRs are allowed

A final vote isn’t expected until the summer.