Changes to Short Term Rental Laws Enacted on March 23, 2023
As many of you know, the City Council enacted substantial changes to the City’s Short Term Rental (STR) laws on March 23, 2023. This post will provide some guidance on the changes and give the public a sense of what the next few months will hold. As always, questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
029381 MCS (As Amended)
029382 MCS (As Amended)
The bulk of the changes enacted affect current residential license holders. RSTRs will no longer be a permitting option after July 1, 2023. After that time, people in areas not zoned for commercial STR permits seeking to operate a short-term rental will be required to apply for a Non-commercial STR permit (NSTR).
There is currently an ordinance pending before the Council which would sunset all existing RSTR permits on August 31, 2023. Operators and/or owners should not book stays after that without the understanding that applicants unable to secure an NSTR permit by that date will not be permitted to operate without an NSTR permit and any booked stays would have to be canceled if a permit cannot be secured.
NSTR permit applications open on July 1, 2023. At that time, applicants will have a two-week period to submit their applications. Applications must be complete at the time of submission. The Department will hold online information sessions, as well as in-person sessions as possible, to assist citizens with completing the application to ensure that your application is complete.
A complete application will include:
Operator permit, either issued or a complete application
Proof of completion of the STR Owner training class as provided by the Department
A floor plan
An evacuation plan
A noise abatement plan that provides, at a minimum, a noise monitoring device. NSTRs shall not be required to include a noise monitoring device as part of their noise abatement plan.
A sanitation plan that includes at least daily visual inspections
A complete application will also require that the property has no outstanding electrical or mechanical violations, violations for work without permits, open building permits, or unresolved zoning or addressing issues. Applicants are advised to begin working on these issues and verifying their zoning and addressing status with the Department immediately.
A maximum of 1 NSTR or Bed & Breakfast (B&B) may be permitted per square. Where more than one person applies per square for a NSTR permit, permits will be allocated by lottery.
Bed and breakfasts are conditional uses and new applications for B&Bs must originate with the City Planning Commission. If there is an existing B&B on your square, there will not be any NSTR permits issued on that square through the lottery process and you must use the “release valve” process. Applications for release valves will go through the City Planning Commission.
The Department will review all applications submitted to ensure completeness and to determine which squares will require a lottery. Watching your email is critical for applicants, and many critical communications may come from email@example.com. If you have a complete application and are the only applicant for your square, you will receive payment instructions to complete your application and secure your permit. If you have a complete application but are not the only applicant, you will receive information about the lottery process. If your application is not complete, you will receive information explaining what was missing and instructions about reapplying for the next quarterly application period.
More information about the lottery will be coming soon, along with rules and regulations about the lottery process. The Department will take public feedback on the rules and regulations before finalizing them, and will provide information about this opportunity soon. As of now, the Department anticipates holding the first lottery in August 2023.
The main changes to commercial licenses are to the requirements for operator licenses, which must be applied for in person. More information on this process will be forthcoming. Other changes include additional requirements for noise, sanitation and security plans.
Platforms are now required to submit additional information to the City, including but not limited to addresses of listings, the number of nights a listing has been rented and the fees collected for the booking.
If you haven’t already, we highly recommend that you sign up for our STR email listserv. Updates will also be posted here.