Short Term Rental Regulations

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Update: City Council to consider adoption of Short Term Rental Ordinance August 10, 2021

The Olympia City Council is scheduled to consider adopting regulations regarding short-term rentals at its August 10, 2021 meeting. The ordinance has been recommended by the City Council's Land Use & Environment Committee, which reviewed the recommendations of the Olympia Planning Commission on June 17, 2021.

The Committee made a recommendation to the City Council to approve a draft ordinance regulating short term rentals in Olympia. The Committee made the following revisions to the Planning Commission's recommendation:

  1. Short term rentals – vacation rentals must provide a 24/7 contact person who resides within 15 miles or within Thurston County.
  2. Property owners may have a total of two short term-vacation rentals.
  3. Owners of more than two short term rentals-vacation rentals at the time the ordinance is effective can continue operating their existing rentals if they meet certain conditions.
  4. Short term rentals in operation at the time the ordinance is effective can continue operating with their existing parking.

A summary of the Committee's recommendations and the complete draft ordinance can be viewed below.

The City Council will consider adoption of the Committee recommendations in August.

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.


Update: City Council to consider adoption of Short Term Rental Ordinance August 10, 2021

The Olympia City Council is scheduled to consider adopting regulations regarding short-term rentals at its August 10, 2021 meeting. The ordinance has been recommended by the City Council's Land Use & Environment Committee, which reviewed the recommendations of the Olympia Planning Commission on June 17, 2021.

The Committee made a recommendation to the City Council to approve a draft ordinance regulating short term rentals in Olympia. The Committee made the following revisions to the Planning Commission's recommendation:

  1. Short term rentals – vacation rentals must provide a 24/7 contact person who resides within 15 miles or within Thurston County.
  2. Property owners may have a total of two short term-vacation rentals.
  3. Owners of more than two short term rentals-vacation rentals at the time the ordinance is effective can continue operating their existing rentals if they meet certain conditions.
  4. Short term rentals in operation at the time the ordinance is effective can continue operating with their existing parking.

A summary of the Committee's recommendations and the complete draft ordinance can be viewed below.

The City Council will consider adoption of the Committee recommendations in August.

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.