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Council Vote on Short-term Rentals and Transient Housing on Oct. 10 at 9:45 a.m.

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Council to Vote on Short-term Rentals and Transient Housing
on Oct. 10 at 9:45 a.m.
Also on Tuesday, October 10: Commemoration of Hispanic Heritage Month,
establishment of Human Trafficking Prevention Committee, and domestic partner survivor benefits

ROCKVILLE, Md., October 9, 2017—The Montgomery County Council will vote at 9:45 a.m. on Tuesday, October 10 on Bill 2-16, Transient Housing – Licensing and Registration, and on Zoning Text Amendment (ZTA) 17-03, Accessory Residential Uses – Short-term Rentals, two interconnected measures which would create a legal framework and regulations for short-term residential services like Airbnb in the County. 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 vote will take place in the Third Floor Council Hearing Room.

ZTA 17-03 would make bed and breakfasts a limited use in most residential and mixed-use zones. It would, among other things, limit the total number of adult overnight guests in a short-term rental to six, limit the total number of adult overnight guests per bedroom to two, and require one off-street parking space for each rental contract. These measures would address concerns, expressed by some residents at the public hearing on these legislative proposals, about the potential for residential housing to be used exclusively as a short-term rental service.

On September 25, 2017 the Planning, Housing, and Economic Development (PHED) Committee recommended approval of ZTA 17-03 with two revisions: (1) The dwelling unit used as a short-term rental must be the property owner’s or owner-authorized resident’s primary residence, and (2) If the property owner or owner-authorized resident is not present in the residence, the property can be used as a short-term residential rental for a maximum of 90 days in a calendar year.

The PHED Committee also recommended approval of Bill 2-16, which would require that several conditions be met to receive short-term residential licensing. Short-term rentals would have to comply with existing zoning, for example, by not exceeding the maximum number of occupants allowed in residential properties. Rentals would also be limited to rooms defined as habitable rooms by existing zoning codes. 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. Bill 2-16 was introduced by Council Vice President Riemer and cosponsored by Councilmember Rice.

A poll of Committee members following the September 25 meeting indicated support for making Bill 2-16 and ZTA 17-03 effective on July 1, 2018. The delay in the effective date will give the Department of Health and Human Services time to prepare to administer the licensing program under Bill 2-16.

The staff report on these interconnected legislative proposals can be viewed at:
http://tinyurl.com/yaaynnmm

The Council also will hold a commemoration of Hispanic Heritage Month, which takes place nationwide each year between September 15 and October 15. The commemoration will focus on “Shaping the Bright Future of Montgomery County.”  Panelists will share their life experiences and achievements and discuss issues of importance for Hispanic and Latino residents in the County.  Those sharing their experiences include: Oscar Alvarenga, Community Activist; Nhora Barerra, President and CEO, The Media Network (dba) TMNcorp; Dr. Claudia Campos, Founder and Voice of Health, Sex and Domestic Violence; and Rafael Sanchez-Cruz, Reporter, Univision.

The agenda can be viewed at:
http://tinyurl.com/ybfuspx2

The Council also will vote on Bill 27-17, Human Rights and Civil Liberties – Human Trafficking Prevention Committee – Established, which would establish the Human Trafficking Prevention Committee as a permanent committee with 15 voting members appointed by the Executive and subject to Council confirmation. The Health and Human Services (HHS) Committee recommends enactment with amendments to appoint a Council designee and delete the language authorizing the Committee to solicit contributions from the public and private sectors. Council President Berliner is the lead sponsor, at the request of the Executive.

The staff report can be viewed at:
http://tinyurl.com/ycyqub6p

The Council also will vote on Expedited Bill 29-17, Domestic Partner Survivor Benefits – LOSAP – Employees’ Retirement System – Eligibility, which would clarify the definition of a domestic partner to receive County survivor benefits; limit County survivor benefits for a domestic partner of a local fire and rescue department volunteer to a domestic partner registered with the County on or before June 27, 2016; and limit County survivor benefits for a domestic partner of a County employee under the County retirement systems to a domestic partner registered with the County on or before June 27, 2016.

The staff report can be viewed at:
http://tinyurl.com/ydxgeavr

The following ZTAs also will be introduced at the Council meeting:
• ZTA 17-08, Bed and Breakfast – Historic Buildings
o Lead sponsors: Councilmembers Floreen, Leventhal, and Council Vice President Riemer
• ZTA 17-10, White Flint 2 Parkland – Overlay Zone
o Lead sponsor: Council Vice President Riemer
• ZTA 17-11, Antennas on Existing Structures – Satellite Dishes
o Lead sponsor: Councilmember Floreen

The Council also will vote on ZTA 17-05, Ripley/Silver Spring South Overlay Zone – Standards, which would allow new building height flexibility in exchange for significant public benefits. The lead sponsor of ZTA 17-05 is Councilmember Hucker. Councilmember Hucker believes that the ZTA would create incentives for the provision of major public facilities and a significant retail opportunity in the Ripley/Silver Spring South Overlay zone area. On September 25 the PHED Committee recommended approval.

The staff report can be viewed at:
http://tinyurl.com/ycs2t5el

The Council meeting and public hearing 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 session also will be available live via streaming through the Council web site at http://tinyurl.com/z9982v8 .

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Release ID: 17-310
Media Contact: Sonya Healy 2407777926