Calls for more regulation of short-term rentals grows after shootout outside Tempe Airbnb

One homeowner says he's concerned about the people coming in and out of rentals.
Published: Oct. 31, 2022 at 5:18 PM MST
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TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - A shootout was caught on camera at the intersection of Howe and Judd Streets outside of a Tempe Airbnb early Saturday morning. Police arrested two people unrelated to the shots fired, but the shooters are still on the loose. No one was hurt by the shooting.

Since that night, neighborhood groups and residents in the area are calling for increased regulation of short-term rentals. “We are concerned about who are these people coming in and what could happen,” said Justin Stewart, who was awoken by the sound of gunshots. “I think its time to find solutions instead of pointing the blame right now.”

Per state law, cities can have a registry for short-term rentals and impose fines on problem properties, but the City of Scottsdale and Mesa have done more with new ordinances. Mesa requires a special license from owners, and Scottsdale has a dedicated task force. “I think our city needs to get in line with other cities and address the issue and go to the state legislature assertively and take better action from what they’ve taken so far,” said Ron Tapscott with the Tempe Neighborhoods Together.

Tapscott not only points to noise complaints, public intoxication, and shootings, but he also said big business is ruining the fabric of Valley neighborhoods and furthering the affordable housing crisis. “It destabilizes communities. Let’s be clear, communities are for people associating with each other, raising their families, and when you have these kind of products come in,” said Tapscott. “And you have ownership now that is corporatized and industrialized.”

The property where the shooting happened is owned by 203rd Enterprises LLC, which owns 39 other properties in Maricopa County, an unwanted cooperation down the street for Stewart. “I’d rather have people that are invested in my neighborhood that I can go out and meet instead of just a bunch of empty houses that have some fly-by-night people and incidences like this happen,” Stewart said. Tempe City Council recently discussed short-term rentals solutions at their Thursday, Oct. 27, meeting after a work study group presented what solutions would be in line with state law.