Council approves measures to regulate short-term rentals

Graphic from Wikimedia Commons.

Short-term rentals including bed and breakfast uses will be licensed and regulated under the terms of two unanimous actions taken by the County Council this week.

Zoning Text Amendment 17-03, Accessory Residential Uses–Short-term Rentals, will permit short-term rentals in most residential and mixed-use zones under services such as Airbnb, Home Away and others. under these conditions:

  • Limits the total number of adult overnight guests in a short-term rental to six
  • Limits the total number of adult overnight guests per bedroom to two
  • Requires one off-street parking space for each rental contract
  • Requires that the dwelling unit used as a short-term rental must be the property owner’s or owner-authorized resident’s primary residence, and
  • Limits to 120 days per calendar year that the property can be used as a short-term rental if the owner or authorized resident is not present.

Bill 2-16, Transient-Housing—Licensing and Registration, would update provisions for hotels and address transient housing and licensing for bed and breakfast establishments.

The legislation was introduced by Council Vice President Hans Riemer (D-At Large) and cosponsored by Councilmember Craig Rice (D-District 2). 

Both measures were the subject of a public hearing in September and two Planning, Housing, and Economic Development Committee meetings and revised based on input from the Planning Board as well.

“By bringing all the stakeholders together, we were able to find a balance that works for us here in Montgomery County,” said Riemer in a press release. “This legislation will allow residents and visitors to get the value of home-sharing services, while preventing abuse and stopping investors from creating de facto hotels in residential neighborhoods and taking valuable housing stock off the market.” 

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