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.

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