Airbnb could soon be thing of the past in Forest Hills

Terry Jo Bichell's cottage on Airbnb (Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Short term rentals like Airbnb may be banned in Forest Hills.

Thursday night the satellite city’s board of commissioners voted to continue the ban on short-term rentals in the neighborhood.

Terry Jo Bichell's cottage on Airbnb (Photo: WKRN)
Terry Jo Bichell’s cottage on Airbnb (Photo: WKRN)

Terry Jo Bichell lives in the area and rents out a cottage on her property through Airbnb.

“It’s exactly what people dream of when they think of Tennessee,” Bichell told News 2.

The cottage is just 50 yards from her home off of Old Hickory Boulevard.

“We have a one-bedroom cottage with a sleeping loft. We are pretty much full all of the time.”

Since putting the cottage on the market about nine months ago, Bichell says she has had more than 65 different reservations.

Terry Jo Bichell's cottage on Airbnb (Photo: WKRN)
Terry Jo Bichell’s cottage on Airbnb (Photo: WKRN)

“It is a part time job for me,” she explained.

At around $140 a night, Bichell admits she has made some nice income.

“I was sort of looking at this as my retirement account.”

Bichell told News 2 she is among several residents in Forest Hills upset about the measure.

“Everybody is really upset. Some of the people I’ve spoken to it is their main source of income,” she said.

Bichell said she is concerned about an outright ban with no discussion of potential regulations

Terry Jo Bichell's cottage on Airbnb (Photo: WKRN)
Terry Jo Bichell’s cottage on Airbnb (Photo: WKRN)

“I feel that this is a property right issue. This is my property, this is my guest house and as long as I’m not bothering any of my neighbors as long as they aren’t hearing noise or nuisance I don’t understand why the city of Forest Hills feels that it can regulate what I do with my own private property,” said Bichell.

She sites that other areas, including Metro Nashville, have found that legalization and regulation of rentals like hers are beneficial for local residents, property owners and city governments and she hopes they can stick around.

News 2 reached out to the Mayor, Commissioner and City Manager of Forest Hills who did not want to comment, but mentioned they would like to hear the communities opinion on the subject.

The meeting took place Thursday at Forest Hills City Hall. This was the first reading of the proposed new ordinance and there will be other meetings upcoming.

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