Short Term Rental Regulations

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Summary of Short Term Rental Regulations: Preliminary Draft for Public Comment

The City has developed a preliminary draft of regulations for short term rentals in Olympia. Review the draft below and tell us what you think using the Comments tab at the bottom of this page.


Definitions

Short Term Rental (STR)– A lodging use that is not a motel, hotel or bed and breakfast, that is offered for a fee for fewer than 30 nights.*

Two Types of STRs: 1) Homestay and 2) Vacation Rental

  • Homestay –A residential use wherein rooms are rented within a dwelling unit that is occupied by a permanent resident. Allowed outright without a permit, as a home-based business that is subordinate and incidental to the main residential use of the dwelling unit.
  • Vacation Rental –A lodging use wherein an entire dwelling unit is rented for overnight stays for less than 30 consecutive nights and owner does not reside on-site. A permit is required for a vacation rental.

Permitting

  • A City permit (and associated fee) is required for each vacation rental unit; biennial renewal required
  • Proof of city and state business licensing for homestays and vacation rental units*
  • Proof of primary liability insurance for homestays and vacation rental units*
  • Remit all applicable local and state taxes.*

Performance Standards

  • Primary resident, property owner, or long-term tenant must reside in a residence containing homestay units.
  • Maximum of three (3) separate vacation rental units in Olympia per property owner. This restriction does not pertain to homestays.
  • Maximum of two vacation rentals per parcel.
  • Vacation rentals permitted in ADUs only if legally established prior to effective date of these regulations. A grace period will be allowed for existing, nonpermitted ADUs to obtain permits.
  • STRs limited to two adults per bedroom, excluding children under 12 years of age, and a maximum of 10 occupants regardless of the number of bedrooms.
  • STRs will be permitted everywhere residential and commercial uses are permitted; prohibited in industrial zones.
  • STRs will be permitted in single-family, duplex, tri-plex, four-plex, townhouse and multi-family units, subject to all other limitations.
  • An additional off-street parking space will be required when renting more than two bedrooms in a dwelling unit – homestay or vacation rental. An additional off-street parking space would also be required if renting two units on a property.

Good Neighbor Guidelines

The following will be required of all STRs*:

  • Local contact 24/7 within 15 minutes of dwelling unit
  • Posted guidelines for guests
  • Posted emergency contacts, floor plan, evacuation plan
  • Posted copy of license and permit number

Enforcement and Oversight

  • Compliance with health and safety requirements – building code, fire code, sanitation, etc.*
  • Violations subject to civil penalties and suspension and/or revocation of license or permit

*Currently required pursuant to Title 64 RCW Chapter 64.37, Short Term Rentals, and City of Olympia Municipal Code.



Why are we doing this?

Currently, Olympia doesn’t have specific regulations addressing short term rentals. City Council has asked staff to take a closer look at these types of rentals to establish equitable and balanced rules for all stakeholders. We will strive to develop a sound process for Olympia that:

  • Aligns with Olympia’s context and priorities
  • Protects public and private interests
  • Promotes fairness
  • Helps meet our social and economic needs

The following six goals represent the underlying principles guiding our planning progress so far:

  1. Housing: Establish protections for the supply and affordability of housing.
  2. Health and Safety: Identify unwanted behaviors and negative consequences.
  3. Neighborhood Integrity: Minimize impacts and tensions between short term rentals and neighbors.
  4. Fees and Taxes: Ensure equitable permit and tax compliance.
  5. Enforcement: Enact enforceable policies that improve building, safety, and accessibility requirements.
  6. Economic Development: Ensure an equitable approach with existing local firms and providers and their employees, and enable revenue opportunities for existing residents.”

How did we get here?

The City received public comment, held community meetings, and conducted research about best practices focused on short term rentals throughout the state and nation. We heard a full range of responses in support and opposed to regulating short term rentals.


Summary of Short Term Rental Regulations: Preliminary Draft for Public Comment

The City has developed a preliminary draft of regulations for short term rentals in Olympia. Review the draft below and tell us what you think using the Comments tab at the bottom of this page.


Definitions

Short Term Rental (STR)– A lodging use that is not a motel, hotel or bed and breakfast, that is offered for a fee for fewer than 30 nights.*

Two Types of STRs: 1) Homestay and 2) Vacation Rental

  • Homestay –A residential use wherein rooms are rented within a dwelling unit that is occupied by a permanent resident. Allowed outright without a permit, as a home-based business that is subordinate and incidental to the main residential use of the dwelling unit.
  • Vacation Rental –A lodging use wherein an entire dwelling unit is rented for overnight stays for less than 30 consecutive nights and owner does not reside on-site. A permit is required for a vacation rental.

Permitting

  • A City permit (and associated fee) is required for each vacation rental unit; biennial renewal required
  • Proof of city and state business licensing for homestays and vacation rental units*
  • Proof of primary liability insurance for homestays and vacation rental units*
  • Remit all applicable local and state taxes.*

Performance Standards

  • Primary resident, property owner, or long-term tenant must reside in a residence containing homestay units.
  • Maximum of three (3) separate vacation rental units in Olympia per property owner. This restriction does not pertain to homestays.
  • Maximum of two vacation rentals per parcel.
  • Vacation rentals permitted in ADUs only if legally established prior to effective date of these regulations. A grace period will be allowed for existing, nonpermitted ADUs to obtain permits.
  • STRs limited to two adults per bedroom, excluding children under 12 years of age, and a maximum of 10 occupants regardless of the number of bedrooms.
  • STRs will be permitted everywhere residential and commercial uses are permitted; prohibited in industrial zones.
  • STRs will be permitted in single-family, duplex, tri-plex, four-plex, townhouse and multi-family units, subject to all other limitations.
  • An additional off-street parking space will be required when renting more than two bedrooms in a dwelling unit – homestay or vacation rental. An additional off-street parking space would also be required if renting two units on a property.

Good Neighbor Guidelines

The following will be required of all STRs*:

  • Local contact 24/7 within 15 minutes of dwelling unit
  • Posted guidelines for guests
  • Posted emergency contacts, floor plan, evacuation plan
  • Posted copy of license and permit number

Enforcement and Oversight

  • Compliance with health and safety requirements – building code, fire code, sanitation, etc.*
  • Violations subject to civil penalties and suspension and/or revocation of license or permit

*Currently required pursuant to Title 64 RCW Chapter 64.37, Short Term Rentals, and City of Olympia Municipal Code.



Why are we doing this?

Currently, Olympia doesn’t have specific regulations addressing short term rentals. City Council has asked staff to take a closer look at these types of rentals to establish equitable and balanced rules for all stakeholders. We will strive to develop a sound process for Olympia that:

  • Aligns with Olympia’s context and priorities
  • Protects public and private interests
  • Promotes fairness
  • Helps meet our social and economic needs

The following six goals represent the underlying principles guiding our planning progress so far:

  1. Housing: Establish protections for the supply and affordability of housing.
  2. Health and Safety: Identify unwanted behaviors and negative consequences.
  3. Neighborhood Integrity: Minimize impacts and tensions between short term rentals and neighbors.
  4. Fees and Taxes: Ensure equitable permit and tax compliance.
  5. Enforcement: Enact enforceable policies that improve building, safety, and accessibility requirements.
  6. Economic Development: Ensure an equitable approach with existing local firms and providers and their employees, and enable revenue opportunities for existing residents.”

How did we get here?

The City received public comment, held community meetings, and conducted research about best practices focused on short term rentals throughout the state and nation. We heard a full range of responses in support and opposed to regulating short term rentals.


Comment on the draft

What do you think about the preliminary draft of short term rental regulations?

You need to be signed in to comment in this Guest Book. Click here to Sign In or Register to get involved

This conversation is a solution in search of a problem. There is no evidence that short term rentals are having an impact on housing prices within Thurston County, as they make up 0.006% (6 one-thousandth of one percent) of the city's housing stock, according to City data. Our housingaffordability challenges are due to antiquated zoning regulations, overpriced HOA dues, insufficient new construction, and a lack of low-priced units. Moreover, housing affordability is a regional issue. If you displace the short term rental operators out of Olympia, they'll just set up shop in Tumwater, Lacey, and unincorporated Thurston County. Olympia-only short term rentalregulations aimed at housing affordability are unnecessary, and will not appreciably impact the situation. It is hyperbolic to suggest that Olympia has an epidemic of raucous short term rental guests partying late into the evening or taking up a vast swath or residential parking. Most short termrental guests are families on vacation, seeking to save money and spend their time more closely together than a hotel would accommodate. Moreover, many of Olympia's older neighborhoods have smaller homes with few bedrooms. (These are the same kind of starter homes where young families live.) It aides these young families in small homes when they can have theirrelatives visit from out of town and rent a home nearby. Short term rental units should be taxed like other overnight lodging options. It is neither fair nor reasonable to create tax incentives that push business toward or away from traditional hotels. Let hotels and short term rentals compete on price and amenities. Short term rental units are required by law to collect and remit sales and B&O tax. If additional enforcement is prudent to ensure compliance, I support this. But it seems silly to require business owners to register with the same City twice – once as a business, and then again with CED as contemplated in the draft approaches. Originally this conversation included discussion of incentives/requirements for short term rental operators (and hopefully hotels, too!) to pay housekeepings and maintenance staff a living wage. It seems patently unfair for this legitimate concern about the economic welfare of Olympia's working class to be subsumed aboutdiscussions about parking impacts. I fear that this conversation has become yet another way for Olympia's wealthy NIMBY's to use “neighborhood character” as an opportunity to kill off any change occurring on property that they don't actually own.

carlsods 29 days ago

Dear City of Olympia,Thank-you for your work on this important issue. My wife manages a STR business in Olympia and it provides a critical source of income to our family. As parents of school-age children, I am also grateful she has a job that allows her to work from home and provides a flexible schedule. Her business is licensed through the City of Olympia and she pays significantly more in local taxes than if she were to manage LTRs. I have heard concerns that the STR market limits housing opportunities for low- and middle-income people and families. However, my understanding of STRs is that they comprise less than 0.5% of available rentals in Olympia. Given this low statistic, this argument seems invalid. Beyond this, I have several concerns about the recommendations in the City’s proposed policy:1. Property owner must reside in residence providing homestay units Two of the three rental units my wife manages are independent, small homes we own. This requirement would effectively prevent my wife from operating her business and force her back into a LTR arrangement. When she did rent on a LTR basis, she had very poor luck finding quality renters. Further, the income potential from LTRs is far inferior to STRs, and this reduction in income would severely affect my family’s ability to support ourselves.2. Additional off-street parking will be required.Two of the three rental units my wife manages do not currently have off-street parking options. If this requirement were mandated, the cost and impact of attempting to create off-street parking would likely render her business untenable. The neighborhood where these two rentals exist has ample on-street parking, and we have never observed an issue with lack of on-street parking. I realize one-size-fits-all rules like this are easier to enforce from a regulatory standpoint, but it should be recognized they also can be inappropriate in many situations. I recommend a more nuanced approach that evaluates STRs on a case-by-case basis.3. Limiting rentals to 10 guests.Although I agree with limiting STR guests to two people per bedroom in the STR, the broader limit of no more than 10 guests/rental seems unnecessary. There are very few STRs that allow this number of guests to begin with, and STR owners are predisposed to limit the number of guests due to impacts to their rental facilities. If the City were to impost this limit, it would prevent family gatherings at spaces that have the capacity to accommodate this many guests. I understand the desire to prevent large parties in small spaces or quiet neighborhoods, but I urge you to seek other measures by which to regulate this possibility. I also believe the STR market will largely self-regulate this type of activity through negative reviews.In closing, I just want to remind you that for many STR hosts, this type of business provides an important income opportunity and ability to manage a flexible business. These are critical qualities given the current state of our economy.

Kirkhanson about 1 month ago

I am glad that the city is tackling this issue and I generally agree with the concept of placing limits on short-term rentals and requiring permits. However I feel there are some problems with the current draft of the regulations that should be fixed prior to adopting them. First I agree that requiring a local contact is a good idea. But requiring that local contact to be within 15 minutes of an STR is not administerable for enforcement. The requirement should be measured in terms of miles, not minutes, or better yet, just say the local contact has to be in Thurston county. Second, what do you mean by only allowing "legally existing" vacation rentals in ADUs? Do you mean that a property owner must have already built or created an ADU prior to the regulations? That they have already used some mechanism to rent the ADU for a short term? Or do you mean that the property owner has created a separate legal entity in order to offer the ADU as an STR? This part of the regulation needs to be defined so citizens can understand the intended impact. Finally, I question the limitation on property owners to only have three separate vacation units. This will not limit the number of vacation units in the city (which I think is the intention of the drafters) because an individual can create separate legal entities to own the parcels while still managing the units. If the city wants to limit the number of STR, then it should limit the total number of available STR permits, as the state has done with liquor and cannabis licenses, rather than restrict the number that one "property owner" can have.

ChrisPoley about 2 months ago

I don't understand this fear of big business taking over neighborhoods. Is this actually happening somewhere that anyone can show evidence of? I am a short-term rental owner and consumer and every single short term rental I have ever been involved with has been a family owned property. This has been true in many states around the country but also and especially in Washington State where I have stayed with my family at numerous properties. My experiences have been with real people. These are neighbors. They are citizens. They are families. They are small businesses. I would agree to measures that limit the ability of developers or large real estate entities to encroach on the little guy, as I do in all areas of business, but that's not what's happening here. What's happening is an inappropriate and unnecessary imposition on locals and homeowners who are simply trying to makes ends meet, especially in this unprecedented time of financial hardship among small businesses and family businesses. I hear a lot of talk about access to housing in this discussion, but I would like to know which successful models of affordable housing I am impeding by owning a short term rental property. What would you have me do instead? Sell? To whom? Where would you have my guests stay? Hotels? That's big business. Do we want to build more hotels in Olympia? Or do we just not want visitors to Olympia? Would we just prefer they stay away and keep their money out of our economy? This legislation is not solving a problem. It is creating one. It is red tape and bureaucracy for the sake of red tape and bureaucracy. Please use my tax dollars to make Olympia a safer and more comfortable place for my family to live (Yes! I LIVE here!), not to legislate conditions that make it increasingly difficult for a working class citizen like me to survive.

OlyStrong about 2 months ago

Hello. I have been a STR host for three years. My guests are generally visiting family, exploring the PNW (and/or Olympia) or passing through on their way from Portland to Seattle. Olympia is not typically where guests come to party. I understand the limits of three vacation rentals/owner in regard to the lack of available housing for sale, and the necessity of a business license for one's STR. While I understand the idea of putting a limit of 10 people, or two adults/bedroom, I do not understand the reason. The number of complaints, as I understand it, is very low - 1 in the last few years I believe. This indicates that health and safety concerns are minimal to non-existent, and that STRs are not compromising neighborhood integrity. On my block, STR's seem to enhance the neighborhood, honestly. In regard to limiting the number of guests, the number of homes actually offering more space than for 10 adults is low, and may be needed for some. I was recently looking for a home for my sister's family (9), and my parents. They are hard to find. The fact is that as small businesses, STRs don't work unless there is a demand for them. Clearly there is demand and desire for them here in Olympia. For some, staying in a home for a week may be a much nicer experience than staying in a hotel. If anything, STRs generate income for the city, with taxes, guests eating out, and exploring the area - many in consideration of moving here. In many ways, STR hosts are ambassadors for our city. My neighbor will be deploying next year. He has talked about wanting to do STR while he is away. I have agreed to help manage his STR home for the year that he is gone. There are many reasons a home owner may want to choose to rent short term vs long term. STR properties are often not appropriate for long-term rentals. My space, for example, is small and has a kitchenette with not oven/stove. My neighbors home will be available for during his deployment only. Really, it seems to me that these are rules/guidlelines targeting hypothetical problems. Olympia is not a large city, or a party city, folks come through to visit their kids at Evergreen, attend a wedding, visit the Capitol, or grab a shower as they stop for the night after exploring the surrounding National Parks. I understand that there is a shortage of housing, I just do not see how STR properties, when limited to three/owner could have a very large effect on this shortage. The statistics do not show issues with neighbors as a common occurrence by any means, and STRs no doubt create revenue in the city. I do not understand why attempts are being made to regulate and red-tape when neither appear to be necessary. I appreciate the opportunity to comment, and I have very much appreciated the side income my small business STR has provided for me, paying much of the mortgage, essentially. I have also enjoyed the friendships that have come of my experience hosting, particularly with those who have now made Olympia their home. Thank you.

Samomd about 2 months ago

As a short term rental host, small business owner, and Olympia resident who has participated in roundtable meetings with city staff on the short term rentals, I am supportive of this reasonable compromise that hits midway between all the “approaches” we have reviewed. I appreciate that the owner living off-site but nearby is an option, which would allow my business to remain open. Three units per owner is a reasonable number which will allow families like mine to own a few short term rentals to supplement income, save for retirement, work on our own schedules & have a place for our own families to stay when visiting. Two adults per bedroom also seems reasonable, and I appreciate the exclusion of children in this maximum: A couple with 3 children should still be able to rent a 2 bedroom home. Similarly, the 10 occupant maximum is great for multi-generational families visiting loved ones in Olympia or attending a milestone like a high school or college graduation. Grandma & grandpa and their children and their children’s children should be able to find a comfortable accommodation for the entire family in Olympia – I don’t think this is asking too much.I have concerns about the parking requirements, since many current short term rentals were built in an era or in a neighborhood where off-street parking does not exist or is not feasible. On-street parking is not a problem anywhere in Olympia except perhaps downtown. What does “additional” mean? Is there a base number that would be required even if an older short term rental unit does not currently have off-street parking? What if parking isn’t an issue in the neighborhood? Clarity & relaxation of these requirements, or allowing current short term rental owners to be grandfathered in and waiving off-street parking requirements would be beneficial for Olympia families who rent out older short term rental homes.However, while I am in general supportive of this draft ordinance, I still maintain that Olympia does not have a problem with its small amount of short term rentals, and that these regulations are unnecessary. We still have not seen any data from the city that shows that short term rentals in Olympia significantly impact either neighborhood cohesiveness or the city’s housing numbers. We have seen data that short term rentals in 2019 comprised 0.006% (6/1000th) of the city’s housing units and in 2020 there are far fewer. We also have not heard of any law enforcement calls relating to short term rentals in Olympia. We remit sales and lodging taxes, carry business licenses, pay for business insurance & bring economic vitality through tourism to our community. So that begs the question – is all of this time being spent by city staff, citizen commissions & the city council necessary when our city should focus on essential services in the current economic recession?Respectfully submitted,Brittany Yunker Carlson

snowchick2001 about 2 months ago

Homestay rentals are fine with me. But the proposed vacation short-term rental policy is a bad idea. Why? Olympia has a huge problem with an inadequate supply of affordable housing (≤30% of income), especially for households making under $50,000 per year. I believe the City is encouraging neighborhood housing policies, which will make this problem no better, if not worse. Cause 1: Allowing an owner to buy or build two Vacation Short-Term Rentals (VSTRS) on one lot, and to own three in town, is an invitation to absentee landlords to make profit from our neighborhoods without responsibility. Any bad behavior on the part of occupants punishes surrounding residents in their own homes, and the job of constant monitoring and reporting incidents falls not on the landlord (or property management agency), but the surrounding residents.In addition, the idea of allowing up to 10 unrelated people in a house, with 1 to 2 parking spots per house, is certain to create problems. Street parking will be saturated, and parking on lawns will be more likely. If one 5- bedroom VSTR is allowed on a standard City lot (about 5570 sf), the resulting net density is 40 units per acre, or a gross density of about 28 unit/acre. How will this NOT have a negative impact on neighborhoods?Another effect of this permissive VSTR rule is to remove housing unit inventory from use as long-term rentals. This decreases supply and causes even more rent inflation.I believe that, like ADUs, VSTRs should have the owner on-site, so that the owner can monitor, and be affected by, tenants' behavior. This will reduce pressure on code enforcement. The maximium number of bedrooms leased in a VSTR should be 2 or 3, which would bring the maximum gross density to 11 to 16. At least 2 off-street parking places should always be required.Cause 2: Briefly, the Missing Middle and Housing Options-type plans have shown no evidence of lowering housing prices in other cities, especially because most housing types they propose are market-rate and rent for well-above what the under-$50,000 household can afford. Some past and current use of housing in Olympia's single-family neighborhoods as rentals or duplexes, does create a small profit for local owners. However, pushing the proliferation of multifamily housing, which requires minimum or no supervision, brings higher profit margins, and gross densities above 12 units per acre, will interest absentee real-estate investors, reducing the supply of housing to buy. This is a decisive move towards neighborhoods as commercial zones.I know the City needs a bigger tax base, but don't sell out our neighborhoods to get it. Residential development should densify efficiently, preserving existing permanent housing, without exceeding neighborhood limits, and without accelerating loss of home and rental inventory.

jayelder20 about 2 months ago

I don't see how increasing short term rentals will protect the supply and affordability of housing for Olympia residents or those desiring to move here. Conversely, these will compete with the opportunity to build long term housing and will serve to increase unwanted and unhealthy density to neighborhoods and decrease the availability of parking. These types of rentals are purely commercial endeavors such as hotels, etc. The maximum allowed of 10 people per unit regardless of the number of bedrooms is ludicrous. Currently, there are individuals in Olympia who have experienced an STR nextdoor housing at least 10 people. This is a "party," not a housing opportuni8ty. You say these proposed regulations will serve to minimize impacts and tensions between STRs and neighbors (Item #3 of your goals). The issue is crowding and lack of supervision of tenants, even if a contact is only 15 minutes away. How can you guarantee that? Who will be enforcing the policies? Will you hire inspectors to handle complaints and check on properties. What's to stop corporate entities from coming in a turning our neighborhoods into commercial enterprises, rather than healthy, peaceful places to live. Why does economic development have to occur at the expense of our single family neighborhoods? All around, the regulations as written do not and cannot adequately protect homeowners. Furthermore, the number of STRs allowed on each parcel is too many.

Colleeen3 about 2 months ago

Thank you for the opportunity to comment. I have co-managed STRs in Olympia for a few years and the majority of our guests are people that are relocating to Olympia, because their family members live in Olympia, they are building a home in Olympia, they are exiting military service or they attended college in Olympia and would like to move back permanently. I agree that the regulation and standardization of STRs would potentially generate revenue and jobs for the City of Olympia. I understand a desire to treat STRs as small businesses. Since most of our guests are people planning on permanently living in Olympia, I think it is short-sighted to remove STRs or severely restrict them so people do not have the opportunity to live in Olympia while they house shop in Olympia, as these guests would not stay in hotels and are an entirely different customer segment than those who are just visiting Olympia for a week or two. I would like to propose one change to updated regulations: The requirement for off-site parking to be removed for STRs not located in HOAs (which already forbid it). Our STR is located near many small businesses that do not offer off-site parking. The majority of our guests want to stay in our STR because it is located near their family members (which they are moving to Olympia to permanently live closer to) and these permanent residents/ family members do not have off-site parking at their personal residences (because these neighborhood are all older homes that were not built with off-site parking and no room to create off-site parking now, if the City of Olympia would be willing to issue permits). These guest enjoy walking to downtown to "buy local" at businesses with no off-site parking. They appreciate that we are located on the bus line, which means that they can put their vehicle (with their possessions) in storage while they chose their permanent residence in Olympia. My proposal is that if Olympia would like to regulate STRs, that they do so in a way that is equitable with other small businesses (especially those located near downtown), which do not require off-site parking in order to operate and provide a service to the community. Thank you for your consideration.

Stefanie Zier about 2 months ago

If your priority is protecting rent and property values, keeping housing costs under control, and enabling property owners to utilize vacation rentals to supplant income, then this draft misses the mark. Allowing additional ADU's does not support these priorities. Rather, it encourages large homes, and penalizes owners who do not own large homes. Hence, if you want to encourage oversize homes, this is the right regulation, but large homes are not what I want to promote. Rather, I want to live in a neighborhood of modest homes.

knu2xs about 2 months ago

Thank you for moving the conversation forward and recognizing the negative impact STR units can have on the housing market if left unchecked, especially in a market as small and tight as Olympia. I would urge the City to limit them to only owner-occupied units, or at most one additional unit. Statistics being cited about the number of current STR units available in the area very well could be accurate, but the regulations put in place should be looking to the future and not the past. Like it or not, the area is growing and will continue to do so. Please help ensure families in our area will be able to afford buying their first home when they are ready to do so. Thank you.

PNW-home about 2 months ago

The evidence is clear that short term rentals increase rents and home prices. That's why many cities, including, San Francisco, LA, Washington DC, Boulder CO, Denver CO, Boston, Walla Walla, Portland, OR, Oakland, and Santa Cruz all limit short term rentals to the owner's primary residence, only. Seattle allows 1 rental unit in addition to the owner's primary residence. I don't understand why Olympia is so out of step with other progressive cities in the US around the world by allowing 3 rentals in addition to the primary residence. Does our city council know something all these cities don't? Please limit short term rentals to owner-occupied housing, only. Thank you.

laurac 2 months ago

I appreciate any actions the city can take that would limit the growth of rentiership in this period of extreme housing crisis. This draft language seems like a fair compromise.

firelight 2 months ago

There is no reason for these excessive rules and regulations.If someone wants to rent out all or part of their house for a weekend it doesn't hurt anyone, provides more options for consumers and a side income for the house owner. Also why put a limit on ADUs? They seem like the perfect thing to rent out short term. The parking rule is also ridiculous. Anyone renting out a unit would let the consumer know how much parking was available and that would factor in to their decision to rent. Finally having to maintain a local contact within 15 minutes of the dwelling is very unnecessary. If i have a cabin i want to rent out when im not using it and it is not within 15 minutes of my normal residence i would have to pay someone who lived closer to act as a local contact. Not to mention this is hardly enforceable.In short, there is no need for any additional regulations on short term rental. This is a waste of time and money and government resources should instead focus on problems that are actually present in the city instead of trying to exert control over property owners trying to make a little extra cash. Requiring permits and business licenses accomplishes nothing and is a fine example of unnecessary government bloat. Insurance should be left between the homeowner and their insurgence company and any taxes due are already required in the tax code.

oozlefinch 2 months ago

Thanks for this 2nd opportunity to provide input. I appreciate the transparency and inclusion.Again, what is the problem you are trying to solve? As of 8/27 there are 9 Olympia listings available in AirBnB. This seems like a waste of tax payer dollars. Even if you collected a % for taxes how long will it take to recover the cost of this effort? The cost benefit analysis is negative for the city. The impact on the community is already regulated and controlled by all the systems, rules and agencies already in place. Hospital, ambulance, fire, police, building codes, zoning, land-use...these already exist. The $ and social cost to Olympia is negligible. I'm no city planner, but it makes sense to me to direct your energies to urgent problems. Please direct the city's resources towards solving the homeless encampments and delivering needed services. Spend city resources to return the downtown to the businesses there. That's an all around win for everyone. Please, collect AirBnB taxes, you deserve that, but, leave a well-working system alone. Until and unless a problem is identified, let us figure out how to use our private property within the City's existing framework. Thank you - Terry Taylor

Terry Taylor 2 months ago

The definition of vacation or home stay does not include a separate "inlaw" house on the residences property. Not the residences building.

Wmoongos 2 months ago

Since the pandemic started, short term rentals have been decimated. They barely exist in Olympia anymore. But even before COVID-19, the numbers told a story of little-to-no impact on our city. STRs used .006 of Olympia’s total housing stock. STRs were responsible for .0005 of all city code enforcement complaints. All STRs were required to pay lodging taxes, carry liability insurance and keep a business license. In fact, the only trackable impact on Olympia was a positive one. STR hosts paid $58,256 in lodging taxes to the city coffers in 2019. Host families employed housekeepers, landscapers and contractors. And the families who were hosting brought in much needed supplemental income to stay afloat. With how small this industry in Olympia is, and with all the positive economic contributions, we should consider treating STRs as an asset instead of a liability.

WeLoveOlympia 2 months ago

Reviewing all the data supplied by the city it is clear that STR host families in Olympia have been responsible business owners, caring neighbors and contributors to city income through lodging taxes. Draft regulations that are intended to prevent future troubles could in fact harm current hosts that have acted ethically. A "grandfathering in" of current hosts should be considered for some of the regulations. For instance: the parking restrictions are injurious to any host who lives in a home built before the 2000s. They should be lowered by one mandatory space per bedroom/unit. Another regulation that would harm current hosts is obtaining permits for pre-existing ADUs. This retroactive process could be rife with unaffordable expenses and unforeseen challenges which equal economic hardship. Current STR hosts have been stand-up citizens as proven by city data, please don’t hurt them now in the name of preventing harm in the future. Create a grandfather clause to release pre-existing ADUs used as STRs from permitting and reduce the off-street minimum parking regulations.

WeLoveOlympia 2 months ago

It’s crucial to understand that Olympia is having an entirely different experience with STRs than destination cities like Portland and Seattle. There have been scary stories in other places, but Olympia is on a much quieter track. AirBnB was launched in 2008. 12 years later, Olympia shows just 19 active listings in city limits. Even before the pandemic, STR homes were a minuscule .006 of our housing stock. I’ve met dozens of hosts in town and they are kind, responsible folks like retirees that need help affording a mortgage, students who need help with tuition, and families earning money to help with childcare and groceries. There are no corporations or speculators running STRs in Olympia. Please know that we all need help creating income right now with so much unemployment and uncertainty. Olympia is not Portland. As regulations are developed, Olympia host families should be protected and respected, there are very few of us but we are proud of how we care for visitors to town.

WeLoveOlympia 2 months ago

It would be a shame for the city to interfere with folks being able to make a living whether renting out a room or owning a STR. It’s seems to me that the housing shortage is also an affordably issue with rents sky rocketing like they have. I have a STR next door and they have been nothing but wonderful and respectful, where as the 3 LTR Drug houses on the street have been nothing but problems. Could you please address this !!! I don’t get it, the city seems to be focusing on this none issue when there are much larger issues in Oly town that need to be addressed.

Oly resident 2 months ago