The vacation rental saga continues. It appears that the commission is looking through a more restrictive lens for future action.
Commission to discuss regs for Bozeman vacation rentals
By Eric Dietrich Chronicle Staff Writer Apr 23, 2017
An effort to hammer out city regulations for Airbnb-style vacation rentals is headed before Bozeman commissioners for discussion Monday with a proposal spelling out nominal regulations for owner-occupied vacation rentals and stricter ones where a property in a lower-density neighborhood is rented by an off-site owner.
The five-member commission isn’t scheduled to vote on the proposal but will provide feedback to help city staff prepare a formal ordinance later.As presented by Assistant City Manager Chuck Winn, the Monday proposal calls for categorizing short-term rentals — accommodations rented for less than 30 days at a time — as one of three types:
Type-1: Renting bedrooms in an owner-occupied dwelling where the owner is present during the stay
Type-2: Renting bedrooms in an owner-occupied dwelling if the owner isn’t present during the stay, or renting out a portion of a property like a mother-in-law apartment or duplex half on a short-term basis
Type-3: Renting out a dwelling where the owner doesn’t live at least half-time
Type-1 rentals, like a homeowner renting out a spare bedroom on Airbnb, wouldn’t be subject to regulations beyond a requirement that the owner register with the city, pay lodging taxes and meet health department requirements for public accommodations.
Type-2 rentals would also be required to pass a fire inspection, provide guests with written rules and designate a “local responsible person” able to respond to complaints 24-7.
In addition to the type-2 requirements, type-3 rentals with an off-site owner would be subject to comparatively strict restrictions in the low density R-1 and R-S residential zoning districts, being required to provide written notice to neighboring properties and pass through the time-intensive process of obtaining a city conditional use permit.
Type-2 and Type-3 rentals would also be charged a $250 annual registration fee and, when first registered, a $225 fire inspection fee. A city conditional use permit application currently carries a $1,508 filing fee.
The city is currently banning new vacation rental permits in some neighborhood zoning districts. Most short-term rental operations in the area, though, appear to fly under the regulatory radar.Given that, it’s unclear exactly how many short-term rentals are operated inside city limits, but listing sites like Airbnb and VRBO include hundreds of local listings. In a January letter, Airbnb told city commissioners its Bozeman offerings included 350 short-term listings that hosted 13,000 guests a year. Nearly 80 percent of its local listings were rented for fewer than 90 days a year, Airbnb also said.