Regulatory Roundup for Week of January 21st

Regulatory Roundup

Vacation rental regulatory news for the week of Jan. 21, 2018

Sonoma County, California

Sonoma County Planning Commission to examine ban on new vacation rentals in burned areas

From the Report: “Proposal to add the Vacation Rental Exclusion Combining Zone to 64 parcels totaling about 768 acres that take access from Morningside Mountain Drive, Vigilante Road, Oso Trail, Heaven Hill Road, Sobre Vista Road, Springfield Road, and High Grove Lane in Glen Ellen. The proposed rezone area has inadequate road access due to substandard private roads; and a significant fire hazard due to moderate to steep topography, inadequate road access, and fire-prone forest vegetation.”

Takeaway: Sonoma County has placed several temporary moratoriums on new vacation rental permit applications since mid-2017 due to local fires. The Board of Supervisors is allowing the most recent moratorium to expire on February 3, 2018. However, planning staff has recommended expanding the Vacation Rental Exclusion Zone to 768 acres of residential zoning affected most recently by wildfires. This effort is an effort to more permanently remove vacation rentals from the market and directly limit the rights of property owners in the area. The Planning Commission will take up this issue on February 1, 2018, at 1 P.M.

Boston, Massachusetts

Boston Mayor proposes plan to regulate and tax short-term rentals

From the News Release: “The new regulations put forth in the ordinance aim to capture the growth of Boston's growing home-share industry while including deterrents to help prevent operators from monopolizing Boston's housing market with short-term rentals. In addition, the regulations provide a standardized framework for regulating these units that both meet the evolving needs of the industry, provide protections for occupants and minimize the impact on surrounding neighbors of these units.”

Takeaway: Mayor Marty Walsh proposed a new ordinance to regulate the short-term rental market of Boston. The ordinance will limit “Short-Term Rental of an Investor Unit” to only 90 days per year. The ordinance will also apply the occupancy excise tax to short-term rentals, which is currently not required under law.

Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville to phase out non-owner occupied short-term rentals by 2021

From the Article: The ordinance seeks to phase out non-owner-occupied short-term rentals from residential-zoned neighborhoods in less than three years. These are any homes in which a property owner does not live in the home that he or she is renting out to guests  

Takeaway: This ordinance will ban traditional vacation rentals in Nashville by 2021. The city attempted to regulate short-term rentals and in 2016 the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled against the city. There are two bills in the Tennessee Legislature that could affect the outcome of this ordinance. The debate on short-term rentals in Nashville and Tennessee is not over and it will continue for the foreseeable future.

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