Local News

Public input sought on Killington’s proposed short-term rental zoning

Staff report

The Killington Planning Commission is holding a public hearing on proposed short-term rental zoning bylaw amendments at the town offices on Wednesday, Nov. 20  at 7:30 p.m.

Short-term rentals are defined as those rented for fewer than 30 consecutive days and no more than 14 days per calendar year.

The proposed amendments would require short-term rental owners to obtain permits before a certificate of occupancy is granted.

The amendment would also limit bedroom capacity to two people per bedroom plus two additional. A three bedroom dwelling unit would be permitted eight people, for example.

FAQ’s about Killington’s proposed short-term rental registration

Q:  What is a short-term rental?

A:  A short-term rental, sometimes called home-sharing or a vacation rental, is a rental of a home or apartment for periods of less than 30 consecutive days. Killington’s proposed zoning bylaw change would not require registration for short-term rentals for under 14 days per calendar year.

Q:  Is the town trying to discourage short-term rentals?

A:  No. Killington is a resort town which values the income-generating potential to owners of short-term rentals and the increased visitor capacity that short-term rentals bring to our businesses.

Q:  How many short-term rentals are there in Killington?

A:  An analysis in June of 2019 revealed 1,378 listing representing 931 unique rental units within town borders. The emergence of short-term rental websites has created a boom in short-term rentals that continues to grow.

Q:  Why start a registration program now?

A:  The health, safety and protection of rental occupants, rental owners and neighbors is of primary importance. Stopping “party houses” and “pseudo- hotels” in residential neighborhoods is a related goal.

Q:  Why burden everyone because of a few bad

A:  There is a sense in which all regulation does this. To prevent abuses by some, rules are adopted which all must follow. Killington’s long-term rental market can benefit from the consistency and reliability that regulation brings.

Q:  Will it be a short-term rental “permit” or

A:  The proposed zoning bylaw amendments use the term “permit” because that is the term used in Vermont statutes. In practice, the town will administer it as an annual “registration.”

Q:  What documents will be required for a short-term rental registration?

A:  As proposed, the following five documents will be required:

A copy of the state Wasterwater and Water Supply Permit.

A copy of the state Public Building Permit from the Vermont Fire Safety Division.

A copy of the Posting of Contact Information required by 18 V.S.A §4467.

A copy of a completed state Short Term Rental Safety, Health and Financial Obligations self-certification form.

Proof of short-term rental insurance coverage.

Q:  Are any of these documents not currently
required by law?

A:  Only proof of short-term rental insurance is a requirement, not currently required by law. Because new homeowner’s insurance policies carry a “business activity exclusion,” the rental owner and others may not be covered without short-term rental insurance.

Q:  Will I have to submit all five documents every year?

A:  The state Wastewater Permit and the state Public Building Permit would only have to be submitted once. The others would be updated annually.

Q:  How many guests can I advertise to stay in a short-term rental?

A:  The current zoning bylaw allows two occupants per bedroom. The proposed bylaw amendments will allow an additional two occupants per short-term rental unit. Therefore, a three-bedroom home can be advertised for eight guests as a short-term rental.

Q:  How are the number of bedrooms determined?

A:  Generally, the number of bedrooms is set in the state Wastewater Permit. There may be variations in Act 250 approvals of multi-unit structures, and the capacity of septic systems that were approved prior to state jurisdiction (before July 2007) will be determined based upon the best available information.

Q:  Will the town outsource monitoring of short-term rentals?

A:  Manually monitoring over 900 properties in over 1,300 listings that are constantly added, changed or moved between multiple websites, all with their addresses hidden, would be difficult to impossible. The town will likely contract with a specialized firm with deep domain data technology to continuously monitor compliance with short-term rental registration.

Q:  What will the annual registration of a short-term rental cost?​

A:  An annual fee for a short-term rental registration will be set by the Select Board. The annual fee will cover the cost of the third-party monitor and additional capacity at the town offices to administer the registration program.

Q:  Will the town outsource enforcement of short-term rental regulations?

A:  No. The processing of registrations and administration of the registration program, including enforcement, will continue to be performed by town employees located at the town offices in Killington.

Q. When will the short-term registration program begin?

A:  If adopted, registrations may be instituted as soon as April 1, 2020 with a grace period for applicants to secure a state Public Building Permit and/or state Wastewater Permit.

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