Connecticut mayor runs afoul of city’s short-term rental rules
Bridgeport zoning regulations prohibit Mayor Joe Ganim listing home on Airbnb, Vrbo
The stakes are significantly lower than corruption and racketeering charges, but Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim has drawn scrutiny for violating local regulations by listing his home on online rental platforms, CT Insider reported.
Ganim listed on Airbnb and Vrbo for $125 a night his single-family home at 37 Thorne Place in the upscale neighborhood of Black Rock, despite city zoning regulations that forbid short-term rentals, the outlet reported.
After a media inquiry, Ganim agreed the advertisement should be taken down and removed the listing from Airbnb. A second inquiry resulted in the same action for a listing on Vrbo.
Ganim purchased the five-bedroom home near the Long Island Sound in 2021 for $333,000, and put it up for sale for $1.3 million last November, the outlet reported.
The listings, according to the outlet, didn’t specify what part of the home was available, but a description on Zillow mentions a finished third level that has a “guest suite with a bedroom, sitting room, kitchenette and full bathroom.”
It’s the second time Ganim has been called out for improperly listing his residence on short-term rental sites.
In 2016, Ganim’s condominium association said the mayor had violated its rules for listing his unit on Airbnb, CT Insider said.
Ganim is serving his seventh term in office, though not consecutively. He served as the city’s mayor from 1991 to 2003, when he was convicted on a number of federal charges — including racketeering, extortion, bribery, mail fraud and filing false tax returns — for extorting contractors that did business with the city. He was released from prison in 2010 and staged a remarkable political comeback that saw him elected Bridgeport mayor in 2015.
Still, he’s not the only person who has grappled with local regulations concerning short-term rental website.
Short-term rental hosts in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, cried foul when the town’s governing board approved a measure requiring hosts to pay a $200 annual registration fee.
The hosts said the fee is one more in a series of expenditures — including state and local taxes, as well as property upkeep — and limitations that are eroding profits.
— Ted Glanzer
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