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Home / News / Planning Department Will Present Revised Zoning Text Amendment for Short-Term Residential Rentals to Planning Board on May 4

Planning Department Will Present Revised Zoning Text Amendment for Short-Term Residential Rentals to Planning Board on May 4

Short-Term Residential rental logo

Community invited to testify about new standards for short-term home rentals, such as Airbnb

SILVER SPRING, MDThe Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, has proposed a zoning text amendment (ZTA) to regulate online-advertised, short-term home rentals, such as Airbnb, Flipkey, HomeAway and VRBO. The ZTA is posted online for public review before planners present it to the Planning Board on Thursday, May 4.

Written testimony about the proposed ZTA can be sent by email to and the community will have the opportunity to testify publicly about the amendment at the Planning Board meeting on May 4. Once the Planning Board hears from the community and reviews the ZTA, it will transmit its recommendations to the County Council.

The amendment defines a short-term residential rental as a dwelling unit occupied for less than 30 consecutive days and not a bed and breakfast establishment. Applicants seeking to rent all or part of their homes for such a length of time must provide proof that the home is their primary residence and must comply with homeowner association, condominium documents or rental lease agreements.

Standards for Short-Term Residential Rentals

The proposed ZTA limits the number of days that a property can be used as a short-term residential rental to a maximum of 90 days in a calendar year and requires that the use be licensed. Each license would be issued for a term of one year, renewable for additional one-year terms, subject to payment of a license fee.

The ZTA also limits the occupancy of a short-term residential rental to six adult guests per night. A maximum of two overnight guests may stay in each bedroom. A record of all overnight visitors must be maintained and ready for inspection by staff from the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services.

Background on Short-Term Residential Rental Zoning Text Amendment

The County Council introduced a zoning text amendment (ZTA 16-03) in February 2016 to allow short-term residential rentals under certain parameters. 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.

The Planning Department held three public meetings in 2016 to solicit community feedback about the ZTA and met with the county Departments of Permitting Services, Health and Human Services, and Housing and Community Affairs, to discuss the ZTA and input from the community.