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Thread: Home rental or bed and breakfast

  1. #1

    Home rental or bed and breakfast

    We have a new use in town that doesn't exactly fit any of the use definitions in our zoning ordinance, so it is left to staff to make an interpretation of which district is most closely related and applicable. In short, the use in question is a whole house rental, but rented for short periods. While it has been rented for as long as 6 months, it is most frequently rented for a weekend or a few days. The basic decision is whether to classify this a single family dwelling or a Bed and Breakfast.

    The proponent argues that it is a SF home, since there are no services provided (meals, laundry, hosting, etc.) and the whole house is rented, not individual rooms. In other words, just because it rented on a daily basis doesn't change the fact that it is simply a SF home rented for short periods.

    The neighborhood organization suggests that it should be classified as a B&B based on the characteristics of the use that seem to make it more like other "lodging" uses rather than other residential uses (advertises online for daily rentals, including on B&B websites, they pay hotel tax, although they argue they are not required to by law, occupants are transient rather than making a permanent residence, etc.).

    Just looking for any thoughts as I prepare my formal interpretation.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Captain Worley's avatar
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    Get an architect involved. A B&B would be a change of occupancy and you may have to meet current code for R-1 occupancies in the IBC. Now that I think about it, might want to get an architect and an attourney involved.
    Navy collier
    USS Cyclops

  3. #3
    Cyburbian SW MI Planner's avatar
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    B&B's typically have the property owner that actually lives in the structure. Do you have a rental housing ordinance? If so, I would just classify it as a rental property. But it would have to follow other regulations for single family housing - no signage, for example.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Be Careful

    Keep one eye on Fair Housing laws!!!

    We have a similar problem with weekend renters and parking problems in a tight neighborhood. Not much in our code to stop them. The HOA on the other hand has amended their CC&R's to deal with the problem.
    Skilled Adoxographer

  5. #5
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    we included a use called vacation rentals which allows the kind of rental of your whole house for 5 or more days - it can be found in the Code Enforcement Division portion of the website: www.barharbormaine.gov

    but it sounds like it might just be rental housing, the above deals with it as a transient use, apart from a B & B, hotel or campground...

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    IMHO I don't think this can be regulated

  7. #7
    Cyburbian SGB's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Chet View post
    IMHO I don't think this can be regulated
    If it can be regulated, I see an administrative nightmare on the horizon.
    All these years the people said he’s actin’ like a kid.
    He did not know he could not fly, so he did.
    - - Guy Clark, "The Cape"

  8. #8
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Chet View post
    IMHO I don't think this can be regulated
    you have to prove the litmus test for zoning to regulate it - that somehow great harm will occur if it's not regulated -

    we used building codes/fire safety as well as more gray areas like neighborhood erosion and affordable housing provision for our vacation rental controls -

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Streck's avatar
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    If the owner is not occupying the house, isn't this a business that is located in a Single Family zone? Do you have some business related rules that would help you out?

    If the owner has Homestead Exemption on record at the county, it would be hard to say this is not a residence. If not, it looks again like he is running a business in the Single Family neighborhood - and subject to whatever business regulations you might choose to have.

    In any event, it looks like it qualifies as a single family residence in a Single Family zone, even if run as a business for residential use.

  10. #10
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Chet View post
    IMHO I don't think this can be regulated
    I totally agree. We went thru this when I was out in Golden State and that mistake I went thru in the Gem State. Nightmare.
    RJ is the KING of . The One

  11. #11
    Cyburbian
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    I agree that there's probably not much to be done. In most cases, it simply isn't against regulations to rent out a home, whether short or long-term and trying to define the difference and enforce it could step all over constitutional rights. I don't think we want to become, in effect, the "bedroom police" and try to determine who and how long someone may be living in a particular unit.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian cch's avatar
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    Yep. It is just like any other house being rented out. Only, there are no 6-month or 1-year lease agreements.

    Think about the people who do sign long leases, but then get evicted after a month. Should those dwellings be under a different zoning district? Of course not.

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