Under the police power rights, state governments may exercise over private real property . With this power, special laws and regulations have long been made restricting the places where particular types of business can be carried on. In 1916, New York City adopted the first zoning regulations to apply citywide as a reaction to The Equitable Building which towered over the neighboring residences, diminishing the availability of sunshine. These laws set the pattern for zoning in the rest of the country. New York City went on to develop ever more complex regulations, including floor-area ratio regulations, air rights and others for specific neighborhoods.
Under current ordinance, a B&B is broadly defined as any “establishment which supplies temporary accommodations to overnight guests for a fee.” San Antonio Code § 35-A101(b). The definition does not hinge on serving breakfast, nor does it hinge on the method of booking rooms. Accordingly, temporary accommodations booked through Airbnb, VRBO, and other services are all B&B’s, whether called short term rentals (STRs) or not. City code limits these uses in residentially zoned areas pursuant to density restrictions and owner-occupier requirements. Yet STRs have been allowed to proliferate unchecked – most harmful to neighborhoods is the loss of owner-occupiers.