ST. LOUIS—The St. Louis Board of Aldermen gave final passage Friday to a pair of bills that pave the way for regulation of short-term rental properties in the city after years of incidents and complaints.

Board Bill 33 requires a permit to operate a short-term rental in the City of St. Louis, and also requires naming a short-term rental agent to respond to concerns stemming from the operations of the property. Board Bill 34 adds short-term rentals to the city’s zoning code as a permitted use in all zones.

The bills passed despite opposition from Alderwomen Sharon Tyus and Pam Boyd, who said the legislation is a one-size fits all solution and doesn’t help North St. Louis.  

“North St. Louis is dealing with enough issues on their own. We have the nuisance properties, we have the drug houses, we have the landlords that have vacated their properties,” Boyd said. “I just think that people need to pay attention to what’s going on and it’s about downtown. It’s about Central West End, it’s about those communities that are impacted. It’s not about us being impacted.”

Alderman Shane Cohn, who recused himself from the votes because he owns a short-term rental, voiced concerns that the legislation could make it harder to invest in areas of North and Southeast St. Louis.

Alderman Bret Narayan, who sponsored the bills, said the goal is to do something about "bad actors" in the short-term rental space.

“I know over and over from discussions that we’ve had over the last five years now that virtually all of us have some sort of issue with party houses short-term rentals things of that nature in our communities and we want the ability to just shut them down if need be and this is an avenue to do that, to bring peace back to some neighborhoods,” he said. “We want to carve out space for good operators to act while being able to shut down rogue actors,” he said.

The bills now await signatures from St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones.

Friday’s meeting was briefly interrupted when pro-Palestinian audience members were upset by a pair of resolutions introduced referring to the Hamas terror attack on Israel and the ensuing war. 

One resolution, authored by Cohn, urges the board to stand in solidarity “with the innocent civilian people of Israel and Palestine as they defend themselves against Hamas,” while another, authored by Tom Oldenburg, urges “solidarity with Israel as it defends itself against the barbaric war launched by Hamas, and that the Board of Aldermen mourns the tragic loss of life and civilian casualties in Israel and Gaza.”

Both measures were introduced and referred to committees.

Aldermanic Board President Megan Green ordered a brief recess to have the room cleared as demonstrators stood and shouted. While some in the audience shouted specifically about the situation in the Middle East, one woman repeated, “we waited three hours for this?”, upset that the public was not allowed to comment.

Board policy restricts public testimony to committee hearings.

Demonstrators were not allowed back in the room when the meeting resumed a few minutes later. A spokesperson for Green said several board members spoke after the meeting with demonstrators to explain meeting procedures and to hear their concerns.