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At League of Arizona Cities and Towns Tucson conference Scottsdale STR proposals emerge

photo of STR operators commonplace in Scottsdale
The booming success of the short-rental business model continues to be a challenge for municipal leaders across Arizona as some neighborhood leaders report bad actors and poor behavior within the Phoenix metropolitan area and beyond. (File Photos/
Scottsdale, others cities cultivate new STR legislative approach at Arizona capitol
By Terrance Thornton | Digital Free Press

The 2023 annual conference of the League of Arizona Cities and Towns — a government advocacy pursuit comprised of 91 municipalities — was hosted this week in Tucson where city leaders from all around the Grand Canyon State gathered to deliberate, politic and strategize as the summer months come to a close.

A major point of focus, among myriad items of local control, at the conference was discussions around the common chagrin surrounding Senate Bill 1350, which years ago at the Arizona Legislature provided the legal framework of the current short-term rental marketplace enjoyed statewide.

Scottsdale officials tell the Arizona Digital Free Press a trio of proposals are now part of the League of Arizona Cities and Towns legislative agenda as the 2024 session looms later this year.

For many found in the employ of municipalities across the state, the League of Arizona Cities and Towns is a critical voice for local control at the Arizona Legislature. The league is a charter organization with these defined goals:

  • To strengthen the quality of life and common good of all citizens of Arizona municipalities through advocacy of favorable legislative and administrative policy and opposition to harmful policy proposals at the state and federal levels.
  • To render technical, informational, and other services to cities and towns of Arizona in the conduct of their respective municipal governments and administration of their municipal affairs and for their general welfare.
  • To promote cooperation between officials of cities and towns of Arizona and the interchange of information, experiences and best practices in the conduct of municipal government and municipal affairs through conferences, meetings, trainings, publications and educational programs and similar events.
  • To secure collaboration and common purpose among cities and towns in matters that affects the rights and liabilities of cities and towns.
  • To engage in programs that take advantage of savings that can be achieved through the joint purchase of goods and services.
  • To create a greater public awareness and understanding of municipal responsibilities, services, governance and administration.
  • To do any and all other lawful things necessary or proper for the benefit of the cities and towns of Arizona.

A picturesque view of the Arizona capitol grounds. (File Photos/
Scottsdale, other cities cultivate new STR legislative approach at Arizona capitol

Local mayors in communities like the Town of Paradise Valley, Tucson, Sedona and Scottsdale have been leading the legislative charge at the capitol since tenets of SB 1350 were adopted into law in 2017.

Scottsdale proposals would strengthen local authority over short-term rentals, Scottsdale Mayor David Ortega says.

“Mayors throughout Arizona recite horror stories about negative impacts of STRs,” he said. “The undercutting of housing, shattered neighborhoods, blockage of pathways and undermining permanent resident population, which erode federal and state revenue sharing, are undeniable.”

In 2017, the Arizona Legislature pre-empted local authority with SB 1350 over short-term rental properties, wiping away many municipal ordinances like the one in Scottsdale that banned property rentals of fewer than 30 days. Some smaller Arizona communities say that short-term/vacation rental properties now comprise nearly 15% of their total housing stock.

Mayor Ortega says the proposals ask the Arizona Legislature to amend state law so that local governments can cap the total number of short-term rentals in their community, limit density in specified areas, and establish separation requirements between short-term rentals.

Tourist destinations like Scottsdale and Sedona struggle to manage the negative impacts of thousands of these properties, Mayor Ortega says.

The city of Scottsdale and other local governments, now with support from the 91 communities comprising the League of Arizona Cities and Towns, will work during the 2024 session of the Arizona Legislature in hopes of establishing these measures in state law.

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