Community Invited to Discuss Proposed Short-Term Residential Rental Regulations at Planning Department on December 5

November 16, 2016

shot-term residental rental

Residents invited to hear from planners and County agency representatives about proposed changes to the regulation of short-term home rentals, such as Airbnb

SILVER SPRING, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is holding a public meeting on Monday, December 5, 2016 from 7 to 9 p.m. at its headquarters (8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD) to answer questions and solicit feedback related to the regulation of online-advertised, short-term home rentals, such as Airbnb.

At the meeting, planning staff will present preliminary recommendations for revisions to a zoning text amendment (ZTA 16-03), which was proposed by the County Council earlier this year to allow some short-term residential rental units. Representatives from the Montgomery County Department of Permitting Services, which is responsible for code enforcement, and the County Department of Health and Human Services, the agency in charge of licensing residential rentals, will be in attendance to answer questions from the public.

Reservations are preferred, but not required for the short-term residential rental community meeting on December 5. Click on RSVP to attend.

Learn more about short-term residential rentals. The Planning Department’s preliminary recommendations will be posted on the project website approximately one week prior to the December 5 meeting.

What is a short-term residential rental? 

Online services, such as Airbnb, Flipkey, HomeAway and VRBO, connect homeowners and property managers with travelers who seek the amenities of a home for a short-term rental stay. Currently, a short-term residential rental (less than a month, typical of companies like Airbnb) is not allowed in Montgomery County unless the property has been approved for use as a bed and breakfast. However, the County allows a homeowner to rent out a home, or part of a home, for 30 days or longer.

What type of laws are being proposed to regulate short-term rentals?

The County Council is considering expanding the opportunities for short-term tenancy so homeowners can participate in the sharing economy. The Council introduced a zoning text amendment (ZTA 16-03) in February 2016 to relax the requirements on short-term rentals. As proposed, this new law would allow Airbnb or other, similar short-term residential rentals, but with some limitations.  ZTA 16-03 was introduced in conjunction with Bill 2-16, which would update the licensing requirements for all transient housing, including a bed and breakfast.

After holding a public hearing on ZTA 16-03 and Bill 2-16, the County Council requested that the Planning Department reach out to County residents and stakeholders to seek their input regarding the regulation of short-term residential rentals. As part of this effort, staff studied regulations adopted by other jurisdictions locally and nationally to collect information that could be pertinent to crafting new legislation for Montgomery County.

Once planners have received feedback from the public, they will present their recommendations to the Planning Board and County Council.