Vacation rentals on Sept. 15 council agenda

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Moratorium on issuing transient rental licenses ends next Friday

The City Council will hold a hearing on whether to extend the moratorium on licensing short term rentals beyond the 45-day limit. The hearing is set for 10 a.m., Friday, Sept. 15, which is also the day the transient rental license moratorium expires. (In related news, last week city staff held a townhall meeting about short term rentals. For details, see “Short term rental townhalls continue,” on this page.)

At this week’s council meeting, held Sept. 5, the council received and filed a report on the findings of staff’s research on the subject.

The report concluded with a reminder that the council had the option of extending the moratorium.

According to the city manager, state law required the city to issue the report at least 10 days before the moratorium expired. Mayor Anni Marshall directed staff to continue what they were doing. City Attorney Scott Campbell said the council had to adopt the report. “This report gives you the option on the 15th to extend the ordinance,” Campbell said. He was referring to the urgency ordinance that created the 45-day moratorium on issuing transient rental licenses in the first place.

“On August 1, 2023, the City Council voted unanimously to establish, by urgency ordinance a moratorium on the issuance of Transient Rental Licenses for transient rental use to new applicants for a 45-day period,” wrote City Manager David Maistros in his staff report to the Sept. 5 council meeting.

“Before considering any extension of the moratorium, the City Council must issue a report that describes the measures taken to study and address the issues that lead to the moratorium and what the City Council will do to address the issues of transient occupancy,” Maistros wrote.

“The moratorium was established to allow City Council, Planning Commission, City Staff and the City Attorney time to study appropriate regulations to maintain public safety and health of the community,” Maistros wrote.

“Additionally, the moratorium temporarily halted further issuance of TRLs so that the City can identify regulations which ensure that issuance of TRLs does not undermine the City’s goals to have affordable housing stock and maintain a safe community,” Maistros wrote.

“Since the establishment of the moratorium, City Staff have held two stakeholder/community meetings to discuss specific issues regarding transient rentals,” Maistros wrote.

“On Tuesday, September 22 at 6 p.m. approximately 4 community members attended in person, with approximately 20 attending virtually. Meeting discussion included quality of life issues, specifically noise, trash, and other community impacts associated with transient rentals,” Maistros wrote.

“Additionally, City Staff have developed a community survey regarding transient rentals and plan to circulate the survey on October 1, 2023, at the conclusion of the current income survey period,” Maistros wrote.

“Staff anticipate circulating the survey for a 30-day period. Based upon the input from the community meetings and responses to the survey, recommendations on future regulation of transient rentals will be adopted,” Maistros wrote.

“As more analysis is needed, especially in light of the community survey, an extension of the moratorium will allow issues associated with the impact of transient rentals on the health, safety and welfare of city residents, the impact upon housing stock and city revenues, the City Council has the option to extend the moratorium period,” Maistros wrote.