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Airbnb to stop in S. Hill

The owner of an Airbnb in Summit Hill said he will cease operations.

Khalid Chohan, who owns the building on West Ridge Street, off Market Street, said he has received a notice of violation from Zoning Officer Dan Matika.

He said he has a few commitments for people to stay there and then he will no longer rent out the home. He said it is no longer being advertised as an Airbnb.

“Since he has stopped me, I have stopped,” Chohan told council.

The topic of the Airbnb has been discussed for several months at the council meeting. The location of Chohan’s Airbnb is zoned residential.

The borough council acknowledged Chohan’s operation of an Airbnb illustrates short-term rentals are currently not addressed in the borough’s zoning regulations.

“Nothing in our zoning ordinance addresses short-term rentals,” said council member Michael Alabovitz.

He suggested the council look at sample zoning ordinances from other towns to come up with regulations.

”We’re talking about amending the zoning ordinance,” said attorney Robert Frycklund, the borough’s solicitor. He said to do this will require advertising and holding two public hearings on the matter.

Borough resident David Hiles, who has been one of the most vocal opponents of the Airbnb, said this isn’t the only short-term rental problem. He said a person is renting a property on East Hazard Street from an Allentown landlord and is attempting to rent rooms.

Hiles said this is a zoning violation and a violation of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources order that no new sewage connections be permitted in the borough.

He also said Airbnb locations in areas where adequate parking is unavailable is unfair to neighboring residents.

Chohan said he feels an Airbnb will inspire commerce in the community.