Heather Hale owns an Airbnb in South Portland and told WGME, CBS 13, in a previous interview that the short-term rentals help businesses thrive in her neighborhood. Credit: CBS 13

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — A petition to roll back regulations restricting short-term rentals through services like Airbnb has forced a Maine city to reconsider the rules.

Petitioners in South Portland gathered more than 1,000 signatures in opposition to a new requirement that owners live in their rental homes. The successful drive forces the City Council to reconsider to its 6-1 vote approving the new rules.

If the council does not overturn itself, the public will be allowed to vote on the issue in a referendum.

Proponents of the rule argue that petitioners spread false information. Confrontations between the two sides became heated, leading the organizer of the repeal effort to take out a protective order.

The Portland Press Herald reports that the council will vote April 3 on whether to rescind the rules.

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