Scottsdale sees 93% of all STR operators pursuing registration
By Terrance Thornton | Digital Free Press
The city of Scottsdale is reporting 93% compliance with short-term rental operators within municipal bounds, numbers show.
In his routine report to Scottsdale City Council, Brent Stockwell, assistant city manager, provides as of June 4 there have been 3,791 STR applications submitted meanwhile 3,317 licenses have been approved.
“There are an estimated 4,081 short-term rentals operating in Scottsdale,” he told City Council in his report earlier this week. “This means that about 93% of the current total are in the licensing process, and 81% are licensed.”
Scottsdale City Council unanimously adopted ordinance No. 4655 in October 2022, requiring rental property owners and operators to obtain a Scottsdale license for each property and comply with several safety, health and neighbor notification requirements.
And since that time, the latest City Council report shows, city staff has been focused on working with local STR operators to register properties to help belay neighborhood concerns and give local control back to City Hall, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd.
The annual license fee is $250 per property; fees will go 100% to cover costs associated with licensing vacation and short-term rentals.
Scottsdale’s ordinance complies with Arizona Senate Bill 1168 passed by the legislature last year and signed by the governor in July 2022, and reflects the full authority granted to cities under state law.
1ON1 with Scottsdale Councilwoman Tammy Caputi on latest STR numbers
Scottsdale Councilwoman Tammy Caputi spoke with the Arizona Digital Free Press on the welcome news at City Hall, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd. This is what she had to say:
This strikes me as good news? Are these numbers encouraging?
Yes, 93% in the licensing process is good news; these numbers are encouraging. As soon as the state legislature allowed cities to take some control over managing STRs, we put whatever controls the law allowed us in place.
Requiring STRs to be licensed helps us keep track of where these properties are and allows us to start getting our hands around the problem. There tend to be a small number of bad actors who ruin things for everyone. We respect private property rights, but we are trying to keep our neighborhoods peaceful and enjoyable for our residents, which is our main goal. We are finally starting to make some progress, although there is still much work to be done. It’s a work in process for sure.
Have you been pleased with recent efforts by city staff since last time we talked about the frequency applications?
Absolutely. Staff is doing an amazing job. The city’s short-term rental group recently created a new “Good Neighbor Guide.” The guide, designed for residents and neighborhoods, provides information for those wanting to know more about the laws that apply to short-term and vacation rentals, including the quickest ways to report issues and concerns. The city also publishes guides for short-term rental owners and guests to encourage them to be good neighbors and obey Scottsdale’s laws.
City staff is now collaborating across departments to solve problems — Scottsdale Police Department, Code Enforcement, and the city manager’s office are all working hard to encourage compliance and enforce the rules of our new ordinance. We have additional staff devoted to Short Term Rentals and have prioritized complaints to treat them seriously and address them quickly.
Have you heard much lately about STR complaints from constituents?
Yes, complaints continue to come in, there will always be issues I imagine, but it’s a relief to have tools in place now to deal with the problems instead of just telling people that the state prevents us from doing anything. We are definitely making progress and as we weed out the bad actors, I imagine things will continue to improve.
How about at City Hall in general?
Yes, we are having regular meetings at City Hall with all the stakeholders to keep everyone updated and informed on the situation, and to keep moving forward with solutions.