County Planners Seek Additional Input on Proposed Regulations for Short-Term Rentals

Airbnb and similar online businesses currently violate county code


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Airbnb listings dot the Bethesda and Silver Spring area

Montgomery County planners have scheduled a Sept. 19 meeting for community members to ask questions and to offer their thoughts on proposed efforts to regulate short-term rentals that operate over the Internet.

Websites like Airbnb, FlipKey, HomeAway and VRBO allow travelers to rent rooms and homes from lists provided by homeowners and property managers. In Montgomery, stays of less than 30 days violate county code unless the home has been designated as a bed and breakfast.

The County Council could relax the prohibitions through an amendment to zoning rules, ZTA 16-03, which would allow short-term rentals but with some limitations. The legislation, introduced in February 2016, was along with Bill 2-16, which would update the licensing requirements for all transient housing, including bed and breakfasts.

Once planners have collected information and feedback, they will offer recommendations to the county Planning Board and the council.

The hearing—at the Montgomery County Planning Department’s offices at 8787 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring—will run from 7 to 9 p.m. Planners held a hearing on the same topic July 18, drawing 60 people.

The Sept. 19 meeting will include representatives from the Montgomery County departments of permitting services, health and human services, and housing and community affairs. Planning staff will describe existing regulations of short-term rentals in the county and around the country.

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