The Portland Zoning Board of Appeals tabled a resident’s appeal of an order to cease using his property for short-term rentals through Airbnb Thursday night, meaning the city could still pursue enforcement action against the homeowner and others who use their homes for short-term rentals.

A majority of board members said that they did not want to rule on an interpretation of how city zoning rules apply to short-term rentals until the City Council decides whether to revise regulations on services like Airbnb, voting 4-1 to table the appeal until February.

In an interview after the vote, resident Kenneth Thomas said he hoped the city’s zoning administrator would consider the board’s action before taking enforcement further.

“I certainly hope the 4-1 decision to table, with four members stating they were not comfortable with making a decision on this until the council has discussed Airbnb, will send a message to the zoning administrator to show restraint,” Thomas said.

The city informed Thomas in May that his use of a third-floor apartment in his home at 481 Danforth St. as an Airbnb rental was not permitted under zoning rules. Zoning administrator Ann Machado said that housing transient guests violated existing regulations in the R-4 residential zone where he lives.

Thomas is one of four Airbnb operators to receive violation notices since October. According to the Airbnb analysis website, there are 310 active Airbnb rentals in Portland.

In his appeal, Thomas’ attorney, Paul Bulger, argued that posting the unit as an Airbnb rental was an accessory use to his residence and should be permitted.

Bulger told the board Thursday that the city’s zoning rules were not structured to regulate short-term rentals, and the appropriate arena for changing the policy was the City Council.

“I want you to consider tabling this matter to allow the City Council to take this up and adopt reasonable regulation for short-term rental opportunities in the City of Portland,” Bulger said.

The council’s housing committee has discussed new regulations for services like Airbnb, but it is unclear when it could come up with a proposal.

Cities across the country have struggled with regulating Airbnb and other online services that pair customers to private rentals. Traditional lodging companies, such as hotels, are against short-term rentals because they are not bound by the same rules. Some critics in Portland have argued that online, short-term rentals take apartments off the market at the same time there is a housing shortage in the city.

Bulger said that Thomas’ situation was unique because he is involved in litigation over ownership of the property and intends to apply to rezone the house to a designation that might allow a properly permitted short-term rental.

Short-term rentals are illegal in Portland unless correctly permitted, according to the city. City staff have been issuing violation notices for short-term rentals when they receive complaints, but in Thomas’ case, the violation was discovered when housing planner Tyler Norod saw the property listed for sale and advertised as an Aribnb opportunity.

Thomas told the board he had not advertised the property for sale and filed a legal action to have it delisted. He said he welcomed city regulation on short-term rentals.

“I think it would be totally reasonable for the city to enact a fee on people who are using Airbnb,” he said. Short-term rentals have existed for a long time, but have become more visible because of the popularity of online peer-to-peer services, he said.

By requesting that the appeal be tabled, Thomas had hoped to put off enforcement of the city’s order against him, but board member Donna Katsiaficas said that was not within the board’s power.

Board member William Getz said tabling the case would not affect enforcement of the order.

“I hope it is very clear, you now know that this property is on notice and has a violation order standing,” Getz said. “We would not want our staff not to enforce things. That does not sound right or fair to other people.”