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City Hallways (Feb. 7) Bed & Breakfast vs. Airbnb

 Is this unfair? Or just the evolving economy? 

City officials got a letter from Oscar's Bed & Breakfast on Linwood Avenue regarding Airbnb.

Before operating their Linwood Avenue home as a bed and breakfast, innkeeper Michael Parks wrote, he and his wife were required to install a new wired smoke detector system hooked up to the fire department, install tempered glass windows and make other improvements to their home.

In addition, Parks wrote, they were required to obtain a city license to operate a lodging house, which required a background check through the city police department. They are also subject to fire department inspections.

Also, Oscar's Bed & Breakfast, he wrote, is required to collect sales and hotel taxes.

And what about Airbnb, the online service that basically lets anyone rent out all or part of their residence for temporary lodging, and reportedly operates in 192 countries?

"AirBnB provides the same exact services that we do, but they are under-insured, have not been licensed, have not jumped through any of the regulatory hoops imposed on us, have not been visited by fire inspectors to ensure safety, most do not collect sales tax or hotel tax, and I suspect, income generated goes unreported," Parks wrote.

"All we want out of this is a level playing field," Parks wrote. "Either impose and enforce the same regulatory controls on AirBnB hosts that are currently imposed on us, or relieve us of said requirements."

The Common Council is expected to consider the issue.

City resident says garbage truck struck her car

A Tennessee Street woman says her car was parked near her home, on Tennessee between South and Republic streets in the city's First Ward, at  9:25 a.m.on Oct. 3.

That's about when a city garbage truck struck her 2013 Kia Soul, she said.

She's notified the city that she's planning to file a claim to cover the $2,891 repair bill.

Today's calendar items

Council meeting this afternoon.

In today's Buffalo News and  on buffalonews.com, Mayor Brown shuts down a Riverside bar following a shooting Sunday

In case you missed it, here are links to my BMHA travel stories, on Sunday and Monday.

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