NORRIS, Tenn. (WATE) – Dozens of Norris citizens gathered in the gym of the Norris City Office & Community Center Saturday morning to discuss a newly proposed short-term rental ordinance for the National Historic City.
Norris Mayor Chris Mitchell began the meeting by saying the proposal would tighten restrictions on short-term rentals in Norris. Mayor Mitchell also noted the public input meeting was just the beginning of the short-term rental regulation process, and he said the ordinance could still be changed.
The majority of Norris residents who spoke were in favor of one of two options: tougher restrictions than proposed for short-term rentals, like Airbnbs, or a ban on them altogether.
Some short-term rentals already operate in Norris, and Saturday Norris leaders acknowledged challenges faced by Tennessee’s Short-Term Rental Unit Act. The legislation that offers guidance to how municipalities can regulate short-term rentals became law in 2018.
During public comment, one person pointed out Brentwood has an exemption to the Short-Term Rental Unit Act. When asked how feasible it would be for Norris to also be granted an exemption, Anderson County Tourism Director Stephanie Wells said she would have to do more research.
The public input meeting came to an end after nearly two hours. Mayor Mitchell encouraged Norris residents to continue to stay active during the short-term rental regulation process.