September 16, 2022 |

Saratoga may start regulating short-term rentals. The Saratoga planning and zoning commission is looking at how, or if, to regulate short-term rentals in town.

Typically through Airbnb, a home owner may opt to have visitors rent their house for a few days or a few months. Neighbors don’t have much say about who is renting these properties.

At Tuesday’s planning and zoning commission meeting, the idea to require Airbnb-type rentals to have a special use permit was discussed. A special use permit allows a resident to use their property for something other than just their home. Requiring a permit would allow the planning commission to limit where rentals operate. They could address complaints from neighbors by denying a permit.

Commission chairman, Tom Westring, said that it makes sense to need a permit. Under the Saratoga Town Code, property designated as RD7200 can only be used for single family homes. Any other purpose requires a special use permit from the P&Z commission. The commission members agreed with Westring.

Pictured above: An Airbnb vacation rental in Saratoga. Photo courtesy Airbnb.com.

Airbnb and other short-term rental marketplaces provide the town with extra space for visitors and tourists. This brings in money for local businesses. They are also required to pay the five percent Carbon County lodging tax.

Council member Lindy Glode acknowledges that short-term rentals can cause issues with neighbors. She said that homeowners should be able to use Airbnb-type services, but they need to have a permit.

The planning and zoning commission will revisit the topic during their next meeting on October 10th. They will bring the matter up earlier in the meeting to allow for more discussion. Any recommendation they suggest will be brought before the Saratoga Town Council.

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