Excerpt from Miami Herald
The home-sharing platform Airbnb is suing the city of Miami, where officials threatened to crack down on hosts who publicly protested regulations prohibiting short-term rentals.
According to the lawsuit filed Friday in Miami-Dade County by Airbnb and five individual hosts, the city violated the First Amendment rights of hosts who spoke up at a March 23 city commission meeting.
At that meeting, commissioners voted 3-2 to reaffirm zoning regulations prohibiting short-term rentals of single-family homes in Miami's residential areas. City Manager Daniel Alfonso then said code compliance officials could start targeting Airbnb hosts who placed their names and addresses on the record to attend the meeting and protest those regulations.
"The City is now acting to make good on those threats," the lawsuit said. "Airbnb stands together with its Miami hosts in opposing the City's unlawful efforts, and in particular stands with the brave individuals who have come forward and seek to protect their rights as individual plaintiffs in this action."
Three of the hosts listed as plaintiffs in the lawsuit attended the March 23 meeting. Airbnb officials have said the company has 2,300 active hosts in Miami.
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