While lots of people appear to be interested in renting their homes to spectators at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, Lexington officials have identified existing laws that might prevent that. They involve taxes, health department requirements and zoning issues.
Council member Kevin Stinnett has asked the city to investigate the issue.
"We have to look at this, no matter what, because there are already people out there signing up to rent their homes," Stinnett said Thursday. "The last thing we would want is for someone to enter into a contract and not be able to complete the contract."
Susan Straub, spokeswoman for Mayor Jim Newberry, said that the city would work hard to resolve any issues.
"We realize this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Lexington, and we want to find ways to make this work," she said.
Straub said the potential roadblocks include:
■ The payment of the state transient room tax, which is known as the hotel or bed tax and which people are required to pay when they stay at a hotel.
■ Health department rules, which require certificates for any hotel accommodations.
■ Zoning restrictions, which prohibit businesses from operating in certain residential communities.
One solution might be to have the state, city or planning commission suspend certain rules or ordinances for the Games, which are scheduled to take place at the Kentucky Horse Park from Sept. 25 to Oct. 10, 2010. City officials are investigating whether this would be possible.
At least three Web sites are already advertising houses to rent during the Games, most of them in Fayette and Scott counties.
Donna Martin owns Event Home Leasing in Louisville, which is the official company affiliated with the Games. She said she had not heard about problems, but knew about the current rule allowing home owners to lease their houses for a period of seven days, up to four times a year.
"Most homeowners wouldn't be interested in two or three days anyway," she said.
The issue made news this past spring when neighbors complained about a house on Ironworks Pike that was allegedly rented out just for weekends and had turned into a loud party destination. However, the planning commission rejected a move to require home leases to be extended to a month.
Martin said her Web site has more than 100 listings already, and she expects more after WEG ticket sales start on Sept. 25. Prices go as high as $3,000 a day for the home rentals.
Amy Barron of Equestrian Home Leasing said she had not heard about any potential problems, but hopes Lexington officials will resolve whatever issues might arise.
"If Lexington is hosting the event, they surely need to not restrict the housing," she said.
Stinnett said he hopes the city will be able to work through the issues.
"This is a big issue, and people are not aware of the complications," he said.