The County Council will consider recommendations for regulating short-term rentals. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Owners who rent out their homes on a short-term basis through services such as Airbnb, HomeAway and similar companies would face regulation under terms of a recommendation for a zoning text amendment from the Montgomery County Planning Department.

The County Council introduced ZTA 16-03 in February of last year that would allow short-term residential rentals under certain parameters. Following a public hearing, the council asked the Planning Department to gather public input about this issue. Staff also studied regulations adopted by other jurisdictions, according to a department press release.

The Planning Board’s transmittal letter and draft ZTA are available for public review. The recommendations were summarized in the press release and include: 

  • “The short-term rental use of a residential property should be regulated separately from a bed and breakfast use;
  • The property owner or tenant who hosts the short-term stay must be the primary resident of the house;
  • Short-term residential occupancy of a dwelling or a room should be restricted to a maximum of 90 days in a calendar year only if the host will not be present during the rental period;
  • A limit on the maximum number of days is unnecessary when the host remains in the home during the short-term residential rental stay;
  • All short-term rentals will be monitored and licensed by Montgomery County;
  • To make it easier for the public to contact a county official should problems arise, the Planning Board suggests one agency should oversee all residential rentals; and
  • The host’s short-term residential rental license will be suspended if at least three verified complaints against that host are received within a calendar year.”

The council received the recommendations May 17, and the Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee intends to consider ZTA 16-03 later this year.

Regulation for short-term rentals recommended by Planning Department

Follow Source of the Spring on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Sign up for our free Weekly Newsletter here. Learn how to submit events to our Community Events Calendar here. Please send tips and questions through our News Tips form, or email info [at] Learn how to support Source of the Spring here.

Mike Diegel

Co-Founder/Editor at Source of the Spring
Mike Diegel, a founding member of Source of the Spring, is a Silver Spring advocate who has been appointed by the county executive to several committees and task forces. He currently is a member of the Silver Spring Arts & Entertainment District Advisory Committee. His background is in journalism and he earned a bachelor of arts in communications from McDaniel College. He is self-employed as a communications consultant and is an active volunteer with Appalachian Great Pyrenees Rescue. He has lived for more than 20 years in Northwood/Four Corners with his wife Trish and multiple Great Pyrenees dogs. He is better known around Silver Spring as the Guy with the Big White Dogs.
Regulation for short-term rentals recommended by Planning Department