AL - Short-term rental debate continues on Dauphin Island (with news compilation)

DAUPHIN ISLAND, Ala. (WPMI) — Five months ago, residents stormed the Dauphin Island towns planning commission meeting after a proposal stirred up quite a bit of debate.

The issue at the center of it all was whether the town should restrict short-term rentals, like Airbnb, on the island's east end.

They are still in the tweaking process, as this is just one of the many changes in the 350-plus page zone ordinance.

"The premise behind it all is to protect the integrity, if you will, of the permanent residential neighbors and then balance all of that out for the need for short-term rentals as well," said Dauphin Island Mayor Jeff Collier.

Dauphin Island Mayor Jeff Collier says they are in the process of finding a happy medium between visitors and residents.

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"I'm convinced that we will get it right in the end, but it's still going to get us a little time to get that fleshed out," said Mayor Collier.

Charles Grindle is from Maine and ventures down to the island to relax for three months out of the year. He says he has rented out an east-end property for the past four years, and while he understands the change, he still has mixed feelings.

"We are having the same problem where I'm from in Portland, Maine. They are trying to regulate short-term rentals and decide what kind of fees might be necessary...I can understand both sides, but it's difficult making a decision," said Charles Grindle, a visitor, "I'm just glad it's available for me right now, I'm not sure if a longer-term rental would work. It's important to keep people coming and make it available to them for however long they can come and stay."

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