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Short-term rental proponents threaten to sue Henderson over new rules

A short-term vacation rental association and property owners are pushing back on a proposal for stricter regulations of the rental properties in Henderson.

In a letter sent Monday on behalf of property owners and the Greater Las Vegas Short Term Rental Association, attorney Alex Velto of the law firm Hutchison & Steffen called the city’s proposal unconstitutional and threatened legal action if the City Council approves the changes on Tuesday.

“I hope the city vets this more seriously than it has,” Velto told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “The ordinance seems rushed.”

The City Council is set to consider a number of changes to its short-term vacation rental law, including the implementation of a distance requirement between newly registered properties and a cap on the number of days a non-owner-occupied unit may be rented in a month, among others.

In an email, Henderson spokeswoman Kathleen Richards said the city is legally allowed to “regulate and impose restrictions on land use and real property within its jurisdiction.” Proposed changes to the short-term vacation rental law attempt to address concerns residents have expressed in the first year of rentals being allowed to operate in neighborhoods, she said.

The city has said it receives complaints about trash, noise and the number of rentals operating within neighborhoods.

Velto wrote that the changes the council is set to consider will cause “egregious harm” to property owners in Henderson. He said the council should deny the changes.

Velto claims the existing ordinance and proposed changes to the hours people may gather and limits on those gatherings is an infringement on the constitutional guarantee of freedom of assembly.

He further claims the city’s proposed 1,000-foot distance requirement for newly registered units and proposed cap on the number of days a non-owner-occupied unit may be rented is a violation of the Fifth Amendment, which blocks the government from taking private property for public use without paying for it.

The letter further claims a proposed requirement for operators to install a street-facing security system and turn over footage without probable cause is an unreasonable search and seizure.

Contact Blake Apgar at or 702-387-5298.

Follow @blakeapgar on Twitter.

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