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Disneyland’s Hometown Is Banning Airbnb

Home-sharing service Airbnb. Home-sharing service Airbnb.
Home-sharing service Airbnb. Photograph by JOHN MACDOUGALL AFP/Getty Images

If you’re planning to stay in an Airbnb rental during a trip to Disneyland, tough luck.

On Wednesday, the city council of Disneyland’s hometown, Anaheim, Calif. voted to phase out and eventually ban short-term rentals. Residents operating short-term rentals will have 18 months to shut down their businesses or apply for a license to operate longer if they can prove shutting down will cause a significant hardship, according to a city council spokesman.

Like opponents in many other cities, those in Anaheim argue that short-term rentals turn residential neighborhoods into tourist areas.

“It is now time to restore our neighborhoods… [they] are not an extension of the resort area,” one resident said, according to NBC’s Southern California news outlet. “It is time to take care of the residents.”

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Anaheim’s city council will vote a second time on the ordinance on July 12, something a spokesman says is “fairly routine,” though it’s unlikely that the decision will be reversed. After that vote, the ban would go into effect 30 days later.

“In the past year, our community of 300 Anaheim hosts welcomed travelers from all over the world with affordable and unique accommodations. Many cities in California are reviewing proposals to enable hosts to share their homes,” an Airbnb spokesperson said in a statement. “We are continuing to highlight the importance of fair rules with leaders throughout Southern California.”

Anaheim is only the latest city to ban or severely restrict short-term rentals. A German court recently upheld Berlin’s rules only allow a homeowner to rent out individual rooms as long as they occupy at least half of the apartment themselves. New York’s state officials recently passed a bill to impose steep fines on advertisements of illegal short-term rentals, while San Francisco recently passed new rules to fine websites like Airbnb unless they display host registration numbers.

Although Anaheim may want to ban Airbnb-like services, other surrounding cities like Garden Grove and Orange have no such aversion. Disneyland visitors who don’t mind traveling a little farther could always book short term rentals there.