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Montgomery County Council Public Hearing for Short Term Rentals and Licensing for Transient Housing on September 12

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Public Hearing Scheduled for

Short Term Rentals and Licensing for Transient Housing

Also on Tuesday, September 12: domestic partner survivor benefits and amendment to discharge of bows


ROCKVILLE, Md., September 11, 2017—The Montgomery County Council will hold a public hearing on Zoning Text Amendment 17-03, Accessory Residential Uses – Short-term Rentals, to establish limitations on short-term residential rentals. The growing popularity of short-term residential services like Airbnb has led the Council to examine the County’s current procedures for short-term residential rentals. The Council will also hold a public hearing on Bill 2-16, Transient-Housing – Licensing and Registration, which would update the provisions for hotels and address transient housing and licensing for bed and breakfast establishments.  These public hearings will be at 7:30 p.m. in the Seventh Floor Council Hearing Room of the Council Office Building at 100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville.


ZTA17-03 would, among other things, make a bed and breakfast a limited use in most residential and mixed-used zones. It would limit short-term residential occupancy through services like Airbnb, FlipKey, and HomeAway to 90 days when the owner is not present and residing at the property. It would also establish limitations on the number of adult overnight guests per unit and per bedroom, and that require one off-street parking space be provided for each rental contract.


Bill 2-16, introduced on February 2, 2016 by lead sponsor Council Vice President Riemer and cosponsor Councilmember Rice, anticipates (but does not require) the approval of ZTA 17-03. It would revise Chapter 54 of the County Code to update the provisions for hotels, delete forms of transient housing no longer allowed by the Zoning Code, establish a less burdensome method of licensing for bed and breakfast establishments, and assign responsibilities for licensing between Executive departments.


Bill 2-16 and ZTA 17-03 are the Planning Board’s recommendation to balance the substantial economic potential for County residents of short-term residential services with the concerns some residents have expressed about regulating these services. There has recently been substantive debate about how best to regulate and tax these services, and about their impact on communities’ property values and security.  The proposed amendments to Bill 2-16 from its introduction reflect the Planning Board’s recommendations


In introducing the bill, Council Vice President Riemer explained that “thousands of Montgomery County residents are already using home-sharing services like Airbnb. We should recognize this change in lifestyle and act to both legalize and regulate short-term rentals. The proposed approach is designed to allow part-time home-sharing, while banning what would be essentially commercial hotels in residential areas. The underpinning of the approach is that every home used for home sharing should have a homeowner who lives there.”


A Planning, Housing, and Economic Development Committee meeting on ZTA 17-03 and Bill 2-16 is tentatively scheduled for Monday, September 18, 2017.


The staff report on ZTA 17-03 can be viewed at:


The staff report for Bill 2-16 can be viewed at:


At the Council’s afternoon meeting, which begins at 1:15 p.m., the Council will introduce Expedited Bill 29-17, which would limit domestic partner survivor benefits to a person who registered a domestic partnership with the County on or before June 27, 2016. Councilmembers Navarro, Katz and Riemer are lead sponsors.


In 2016, the Council repealed the law providing domestic partner benefits for County employees, but did not remove the references to survivor benefits under the retirement plans for a domestic partner of an employee or a volunteer fire fighter. The 2016 law included a grandfather clause that allowed a County employee receiving domestic partner benefits on June 27, 2016, to retain those benefits. Expedited Bill 29-17 would limit survivorship benefits to a domestic partner of a local fire and rescue department volunteer or a County employee who registered the domestic partnership with the County on or before June 27, 2016.


A public hearing is scheduled for September 26 at 1:30 p.m.


The staff report can be viewed at:


Lastly, the Council is scheduled to introduce Expedited Bill 30-17, which would reduce the safety zone for archery hunters in the County from 100 yards to 50 yards. Current County law prohibits bow hunting within 100 yards of a building designed for human occupancy.


The staff report can be viewed at:


The afternoon Council meeting and evening 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 .



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Release ID: 17-271
Media Contact: Sonya Healy 2407777926, Delphine Harriston 240-777-7931