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Montgomery Council Committee to Review Short-term Rentals and Transient Housing at 2 p.m. on Sept. 25

For Immediate Release: Friday, September 22, 2017

Montgomery Council Committee to

Review Short-term Rentals and Transient Housing

Also on Sept. 25: updates from Montgomery County Park Police and County Sheriff’s Office on police body cameras

 

ROCKVILLE, Md., September 22, 2017—The Montgomery County Council’s Planning, Housing, and Economic Development (PHED) Committee will meet at 2 p.m. on Monday, September 25 to review Bill 2-16, Transient Housing – Licensing and Registration, and Zoning Text Amendment (ZTA) 17-03, Accessory Residential Uses – Short-term Rentals, which were the subject of a recent public hearing. ZTA 17-03 and Bill 2-16 address the legal and regulatory framework around short-term residential services like Airbnb. The goal of these legislative proposals is to balance the economic benefits of these services with neighborhood concerns about residential housing being used for short-term rentals.

The PHED Committee, which is chaired by Councilmember Floreen and includes Councilmember George Leventhal and Council Vice President Riemer, will meet in the Seventh Floor Council Hearing Room.

After a public hearing, which produced some recommendations for minor amendments, both Bill 2-16 and ZTA 17-03 were reviewed in a September 18 PHED Committee meeting, in which the Committee tentatively recommended approval of both measures with some revisions. Bill 2-16, which was introduced by Council Vice President Riemer and cosponsored by Councilmember Rice, anticipates the approval of ZTA 17-03, which would make bed and breakfasts a limited use in most residential and mixed-use zones. Bill 2-16 would require that several conditions be met to receive short-term residential licensing, including compliance with zoning, maximum occupancy consistent with zoning, and limiting rentals to habitable rooms. The full list of conditions addresses health and safety issues in short-term rentals, as well as maintaining the character of existing neighborhoods and zoning standards.

On September 18 the PHED Committee also recommended revisions in Bill 2-16 concerning requirements for short-term rental licensing and license renewal; challenges to short-term licensing from municipalities, condominium associations, and housing cooperatives; and the reasons for suspension of a license.

At the public hearing, Council Vice President Riemer explained that regarding services like Airbnb, “the genie is already out of the bottle” and the principal issue now is regulating these rental services. “We want to allow people to home-share, but we don’t want property investors to snap up homes and turn our housing stock into commercial enterprises in the neighborhoods.”

Councilmember Rice noted that the Council and the community “understand that Airbnb already exists in a lot of our neighborhoods, so it really is about tightening up the way in which these services are operated, making sure that we’re getting the revenue that’s appropriate, and ensuring the safety of our community and putting standards in place to protect our community.”

The staff reports on these interconnected issues can be viewed here:

http://montgomerycountymd.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=169&event_id=7410&meta_id=143213

The PHED Committee also will review ZTA 17-05, Ripley/Silver Spring South Overlay Zone – Standards, which would add building height flexibility in exchange for significant public benefits, creating incentives for major public facilities and retail opportunities in the Ripley/Silver Spring South Overlay Zone area. Councilmember Tom Hucker is the lead sponsor.

The staff report can be viewed at:

http://montgomerycountymd.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=169&event_id=7410&meta_id=143217

The Public Safety Committee, which is chaired by Councilmember Elrich and includes Councilmembers Hucker and Katz, will meet at 9:30 a.m. in the Seventh Floor Council Hearing Room. Montgomery County Park Police and the County Sheriff’s Office will provide updates on their body camera programs. The Committee also will review Expedited Bill 30-17, Weapons – Discharge of Bows – Amendments.

The staff report on the Sheriff pilot body camera program can be viewed here:

http://montgomerycountymd.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=169&event_id=7409&meta_id=143209

 

The staff report on the Park Police body camera program can be viewed here:

http://montgomerycountymd.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=169&event_id=7409&meta_id=143207

 

The staff report on Expedited Bill 30-17 can be viewed here:

http://montgomerycountymd.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=169&event_id=7409&meta_id=143211

The Committee meetings will be televised live by County Cable Montgomery (CCM). The channel can be viewed on Cable Channels 996 (high definition) and 6 (standard definition) on Comcast; Channels 1056 (HD) and 6 (SD) on RCN; and Channel 30 on Verizon. The meetings also will be available live via streaming through the Council website at http://tinyurl.com/z9982v8 .

 

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Release ID: 17-285
Media Contact: Sonya Healy 2407777926