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Auburn city councilman sues city over short-term rental ordinance

Published: Jul. 6, 2021 at 11:52 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - An Auburn city councilman is suing the city of Auburn and several other council members after an ordinance was put in place to restrict homeowners from using their homes as short-term rental properties.

Auburn City Councilman Steven Dixon is suing the city of Auburn for restricting homeowners in certain areas from renting out their homes.“It really was the last thing I wanted to do,” said Councilman Dixon. “I feel that I should be allowed to have who I want in my home.”

Dixon says suing the city is the only way to get his rights back. “By not fighting I am going to lose a significant amount of income,” explained Dixon.

While Dixon is the only person suing the city of Auburn he is not the only person affected by the ordinance.

“I’m fighting for the citizens of Auburn and the citizens of Alabama to get our rights back, this is a property rights issue,” continued Dixon.

Citizens like Carolyn Smith, a homeowner in Auburn, who Dixon believes rights were taken away when the new ordinance was put in place back in March.

“If I can’t have rentals from time to time to help offset my cost, I could lose my home,” said Smith. She says her guest have never caused any issues. “If my guest and my activities were causing so much neighborhood disruption, why wasn’t I cited for those disruptions?”

The city of Auburn declined to speak on camera, but released a statement which reads in part....” By filing a lawsuit individually, and on behalf of “a group” who seek to overturn the very laws of the city he swore to uphold, Mr. Dixon has demonstrated a complete lack of understanding and appreciation of his role as a member of the city council and his oath of office.”

The city of Auburn says they are ready and willing to defend all allegations.

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