On February 12, 2020

Killington Select Board to hold second short-term rental hearing

Staff report

The Killington Select Board is holding another public hearing on changing the language in its zoning ordinance and short-term rentals.

The meeting is scheduled for Feb. 25 at the Sherburne Memorial Library at 6:30 p.m.

Killington’s current zoning bylaw limits dwelling unit capacity to two people per bedroom. The bylaw would add language to short-term rental units to allow an additional two occupants per short-term rental unit. For example, a three bedroom home would be able to sleep up to eight people.

The bylaw change would also classify short-term rentals as “hotels” and would subject them to the state’s rooms and meals tax.  Short-term rentals would also be considered public buildings.

The town started examining its bylaws in 2018, after a complaint was brought to the town against homeowner Vincent Connolly, who said his three-bedroom home could sleep up to 36 people at a time on the website, Vacation Rentals By Owner (VRBO).

In June 2019, it was estimated Killington had one of the most short-term rentals in the state, with 1,378 listings in town.

Town Manager Chet Hagenbarth said the issue in Killington is believed to be widespread. Hagenbarth said there are 93 homes on vacation sites that sleep 16 people or more. To be compliant, all of those homes would need to have at least eight bedrooms.

“We do not have many eight bedoom residences—it’s pretty significant,” Hagenbarth said.

Killington isn’t the only town to establish policies for short-term rentals .Woodstock recently adopted an ordinance that requires short-term rental owners to pay a registration fee of $115 per rental plus $100 per bedroom.

There are now 65 permitted short-term rentals in Woodstock, though there are many more believed to be unpermitted.

Woodstock’s policy also limits short-term rentals to six people per household, two people per bedroom. A fire safety inspection is required, as is a sign notifying guests of legal parking, rubbish removal, rubbish, noise.

While Woodstock is relying on residents to bring complaints before the boards, Killington would hire a third-party company to make sure short-term rentals are compliant.

If there are changes to any of the language in the document, the Killington Select Board will hold another public hearing before adopting the bylaws, Hagenbarth said.

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