ROCKLAND — Mayor Ed Glaser has proposed banning short-term rentals occupied by non-owners in most residential areas.
The article will be considered for preliminary approval at the city council meeting on Monday, September 12.
If approved, the ban will go into effect on January 1, 2025.
Owner-occupied short-term rentals will continue to be permitted and non-owner-occupied rentals will still be permitted in commercial and transitional commercial areas, including downtown. Rentals could also be in rural residential areas located on part of Old County Road and to the west.
Glaser said people who operate a short-term rental but don’t live there are running a business, and businesses shouldn’t be in residential areas.
“Add to that that it takes away some of our housing stock,” Glaser said.
The change to the ordinance would also remove the requirement that applications for short-term rentals occupied by non-landlords must be submitted to the Planning Board. Instead, the code enforcement officer can issue the permits.
Rockland City Council gave final approval in February 2018 to impose a “temporary” cap of 45 on non-owner occupied short-term rentals. The vote was 3 to 2, reflecting the feelings of the audience speakers, who were evenly divided on the cap. Mayor Valli Geiger and Councilors Ed Glaser and Amelia Magjik voted for the cap, while Councilors Adam Ackor and Lisa Westkaemper voted against the measure.
The order set a cap of 45 and councilors said they would review the cap regularly. Although the board appointed a committee to review short-term rentals in March 2018, there has been no regular review of the cap or the need for a cap or changes to the limit.
There are 41 non-owner occupied homes approved for short term rental. There are about 20 people on a waiting list, trying to get one of the four remaining slots. There is no cap on short-term rentals if the owner lives on the property.
Glaser said his order would lift the cap on rentals occupied by non-owners, but that they should be limited to commercial and commercial areas.
The mayor said he hoped the ordinance change could be passed before he left office. His last city council meeting will be on November 14.
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