Planning Commission approves changes to short-term rentals from 30 to 90 days

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JACKSON, Wyo.– The City of Jackson Planning Commission approved two recommendation motions for consideration by the Jackson City Council related to short-term rentals at their May 18 meeting.

The first recommends that City Council modify the definitions of residential use from a minimum of 30 days to 90 days and modify the definitions of lodging and short-term rental occupancy of less than 90 days.

Short-term rentals are currently defined as the rental of a residential unit for less than 31 days and the rental of a residential unit for less than one calendar month.

Short-term rentals are only permitted in the Lodging Overlay and Snow King Resort Area and require annual licenses and renewals. The city estimates that approximately 80% of current rental licenses are for properties in the Snow King Resort area. According to the staff report, more than 200 licenses are currently approved by the city.

The second motion suggests that city council consider a “local exclusion program” and organize a workshop to discuss the requirements.

The Local’s drop-out program would allow local landlords who reside in their home 10 months out of the year, work full-time or are retired to rent out their property twice a year for a period of less than 90 days but for a minimum of 30 days.

Another aspect of the suggested program is that tenants could be limited to local labor or unlimited.

Anna Olson, president and CEO of the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce, spoke during a public comment on the matter.

Olson suggested that changes to the LDR be put on hold until the results of the Housing Linkage Study and the Housing Needs Assessment Study are released.

“The complexity of creating workforce and affordable housing by building or accessing existing inventory goes far beyond modifying a single LDR,” Olson said.

Commissioner Wendy Martinez shared her support for the increase to 90 days, saying she weighed input from all parties involved.

“I agree that we should keep residential neighborhoods for the purpose we want them to serve,” Martinez said.

Commissioner Thomas Smits voted against changing the definition of residential use, but voted in favor of the local exclusion program suggestion.

“I don’t think we have the data on how many homes this could affect and how many homeowners could be disenfranchised. I have a problem with the violation of private property rights and I think this is such a violation,” Smits said.

“Right now with the property management companies involved, short term rentals are more regulated where as if it passes I think people are going to give up on them [companies] and there will be no regulation,” Smits said.

Community Development Director Tyler Sinclair said the council will also consider adding another law enforcement person to the city staff during its budget process.

The subject will be presented to the municipal council at an upcoming meeting for approval and will then have to pass three readings.

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