Short-Term Rental Policy Development and Public Outreach

Short-term Rentals

Recently the Board of Commissioners reviewed short-term vacation rental input from the public and regulatory concepts and gave staff direction to host interest-based focus groups in July (such as short-term rental operators and neighbors) to gain input on regulatory concepts. 

Kitsap County summarized the public comments and short-term vacation rental survey responses received since early 2019. The participation was excellent with more than 26 comment submittals, more than 300 participants attending outreach events, and 894 responses to the survey. This input helped the county understand the range of interests, needs, and perspectives of owners/hosts (operators), users, neighbors, and citizens. The results lead to a general conclusion that short-term rentals are an important part of the local tourist economy but some level of oversight is necessary to prevent impacts to community character and neighborhoods.

• The summary of survey results are available. Click here to view survey results.

• Additionally, potential regulatory concepts for Board consideration was collected based on over 75 local ordinances and the newly passed Washington State HB 1798. At this time, these concepts include little detail and are a basic skeleton for further Board direction. Click here to view concepts.

Click here to view public input summaries from public outreach events, public comments, and written survey responses received from January 1, 2019 to June 12, 2019.

Project Background

Short-term vacation rentals have become popular alternatives to traditional lodging. Starting out as a form of the "sharing economy" where primary occupants share part of their home for a few days, short-term rentals (STR) expanded to hosts renting entire homes, host-free. The ease for hosts to list places, using conveniently available online tools (such as Airbnb or HomeAway) has fueled growth. Vacation rentals can fill the gap left by a lack of hotels, provide supplemental income to property owners, and support tourism but their growth has led to increased complaints to county officials about noise, disrespectful guests, shoreline/parking intrusions, and safety concerns.

Kitsap County adopted vacation rental code requiring conditional use permitting approval for all STRs – but this has been deferred due to the code being overly broad and too burdensome. In early 2019, a planning process began to update existing policies to address issues and protect guests, hosts and neighbors. Key to this process is involving residents and stakeholders throughout the planning process.

Goals:

• Listen and learn about Kitsap County specific experiences

• Ensure any regulations are scalable based on type of short-term vacation rental

• Promote consumer protection, safety, and deter prominent impacts

• Ensure any permit process is straightforward, efficient, and cost‐effective and that enforcement is efficient, effective, and structured to work into the future

Past Meetings and Events

Since early 2019, Kitsap County has hosted the following meetings and outreach activities:

• During January – March 2019, held nine community discussions and received comments at venues throughout Kitsap County including Suquamish, Kingston, Manchester, Port Orchard, and Silverdale.

• During January – March 2019, surveyed 894 persons to find out about their experiences with short-term rentals, concerns, opinions, and more. The results from the survey will be considered for policy development in addition to best practice findings, stakeholder feedback received at other venues, legal considerations, etc.

• An open house was held in early February 2019 to ensure people had an opportunity to learn more about the project and share their thoughts.

• Received numerous comments and information from the public

 

 Contact Us

We welcome your input !

Please contact us to ask questions or submit comments. Join our project email list below to receive e-mail notifications about upcoming opportunities to get involved.

Project contacts:
Eric Baker - Policy Manager

360.337.4495 or ebaker@co.kitsap.wa.us 

Jennifer Cannon - Policy Analyst

360.337.7051 or jjcannon@co.kitsap.wa.us.