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The original item was published from 6/13/2023 9:59:26 AM to 6/13/2023 4:59:41 PM.

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Posted on: June 13, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Press Release: City Council Approves Limited Moratorium on New Short-Term Rentals

Short-Term Rental

On Tuesday, June 6th, the City Council approved an ordinance establishing a moratorium on new short-term rentals located in residential zones. The purpose of the moratorium is to limit the creation and potential impacts of new short-term rentals until appropriate regulatory measures can be implemented. The ordinance will take effect on June 16th and remain in place for up to six months.

The limited moratorium applies only to new short-term rentals, such as Airbnbs, VRBOs and other vacation rental properties, located in Residential Medium-Density and Residential High-Density zones.

It does not apply to:

  • Existing short-term rentals (established before June 16th) that are compliant with current zoning requirements.
  • New short-term rentals (established on or after June 16th) located in commercial zones.
  • The rental of individual rooms within a house where the owner resides.
  • Owners renting out their homes while they are on vacation, or
  • Where the entire housing unit is rented for 30 days or less during a calendar year.

The moratorium, approved by a 4-3 vote, is being issued by City Council in response to concerns regarding the effects of short-term rentals on the Port Angeles community. While vacation home rentals serve as a valuable addition to the local economy, they also have potential to negatively impact long-term housing stock and traditionally residential neighborhoods. The temporary restriction on short-term rentals provides the City with an opportunity to thoroughly assess these impacts and consider regulations that safeguard the local housing market.

As part of this assessment, the City published a Request for Proposals and from that process, selected GovOS, LLC to perform an inventory and analysis of all short-term rental properties within city limits. This work includes identifying short-term rentals properties, determining the amount of lodging tax being generated and/or lost, providing possible solutions for a registration process and alternative plans for tracking and regulating short-term rentals in the future.

This analysis, along with public input, will influence the policy development process. Residents and stakeholders are encouraged to participate; opportunities for public comment will be available at a later date. 

Community members can learn more and stay up to date by visiting www.cityofpa.us/ShortTermRentals or subscribing to receive City news and announcements via email. Additional questions about this process and the short-term rental moratorium can be directed to the Department of Community & Economic Development at (360) 417-4750 or ced@cityofpa.us. 


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1.  WHAT IS A SHORT-TERM RENTAL?

A short-term rental is defined in the Port Angeles Municipal Code as lodging or guest rooms used, rented, or occupied for guest sleeping purposes for a period of 30 days or less and that contain kitchen facilities including, but not limited to, refrigerators, stoves, and ovens. This definition includes dwelling units used, rented, or hired out for vacation homes or short-term rentals that allow guests to stay for 30 days or less.

Dwelling units used, rented, or hired out for longer than 30 days are considered long-term rentals.

2. WHAT IS A MORATORIUM?

A moratorium is a legally authorized, temporary restriction of activity.

3. WHAT DOES A LIMITED MORATORIUM ON NEW SHORT-TERM RENTALS MEAN?

The limited moratorium does not ban all short-term rentals within city limits. Instead, it prohibits establishing any new short-term rentals located in Residential Medium-Density and Residential High-Density zones after June 16, 2023.

The limited moratorium does not impact:

  • Existing short-term rentals that are compliant with current zoning requirements.
  • New short-term rentals located in commercial zones.
  • The rental of rooms within a house where the owner resides.
  • Owners renting out their homes while they are away on vacation, or
  • Where the entire housing unit is rented out for 30 days or less during the calendar year.

4. HOW LONG IS THE LIMITED MORATORIUM IN EFFECT?

The moratorium will sunset on December 16, 2023, unless it is extended or shortened by the City Council through the adoption of an ordinance before that date.

5. WHERE ARE SHORT-TERM RENTALS ALLOWED?

Existing short-term rentals (those active before June 16, 2023) are permitted as a primary use in the following zones:

  • RMD – Residential, Medium Density
  • RHD – Residential, High Density
  • CN – Commercial, Neighborhood
  • CSD – Community Shopping District
  • CBD – Central Business District
  • CA – Commercial, Arterial

As of June 16, 2023, new short-term rentals are permitted as a primary use in the following zones:

  • CN – Commercial, Neighborhood
  • CSD – Community Shopping District
  • CBD – Central Business District
  • CA – Commercial, Arterial

Both new and existing short-term rentals are allowed in the following zoning district with a Conditional Use Permit. If you are interested in operating a short-term rental within this zone, please get in touch with City Staff to learn how to obtain the proper permits.

  • CO – Commercial, Office

Short-term rentals (existing or new) are not allowed in the following zones:

  • R7 – Residential Mixed Density
  • R9 – Low Density Residential
  • R11 – Low Density Residential
  • IL – Industrial Light
  • IH – Industrial Heavy
  • PBP – Public Buildings and Parks

6. HOW CAN I CHECK MY ZONING?

Click here to access the ArcGIS Multi-Use Map to identify the zone in which your property is located. You will be prompted to check a box on the lower left side of your screen, agreeing to terms and conditions. Then click “Ok.” For further instructions on how to use the ArcGIS Map, please click here.

7. HOW DO I REPORT A SHORT-TERM RENTAL ILLEGALLY OPERATING OR VIOLATING A CITY ORDINANCE?

Residents can report potential violations to the Code Enforcement Division of the Port Angeles Police Department. 

How to Contact Code Enforcement:

8. WHAT IS THE CITY DOING TO REGULATE SHORT-TERM RENTALS IN THE FUTURE?

The City Council has approved the consultant GovOS to assist in the inventory, status, and provision of alternatives for regulation of short-term rentals within city limits. After receiving that information, the Planning Commission will engage in a robust public engagement process. Following that process, the Council will develop policies to guide short-terms rentals in the future. Based on those policies, City staff will draft amendments to update City code specific to short-term rental regulations. Those amendments are expected to be adopted in early 2024.

9. HOW CAN I STAY UP TO DATE ON THE CODE UPDATE?

For more information, please visit the City’s Short-Term Rental webpage at www.cityofpa.us/shorttermrentals or subscribe to receive City news and announcements via email.