Short term rentals | The Weekly Source
Over the past decade, the rise of short-term rentals has increased dramatically. Now, when traveling for work or vacation, you have a choice of a place to stay beyond the typical hotel. Short term rentals allow owners to rent a room or the entire property for less than 29 days (defines short term). It’s also worth pointing out that opinions vary on short-term rentals; some people use them and largely prefer them to typical hotels, while others feel they can negatively impact their neighborhoods and communities. This article is not intended to debate the merits or persuade anyone one way or another; rather, this article is intended to discuss what they are, how they are regulated in Bend, and what changes are currently being proposed to them.
Short-term rentals aren’t particularly new; people have been renting cabins and vacation homes for a long time, but with the rise of Vacation Rental by Owner, or VRBO, and AirBnB, short-term rentals have really grown in popularity in Bend. The City of Bend basically classifies STRs into two categories: Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 STRs are found in commercial areas and the mixed-use waterfront area (near the Old Mill boundaries), and the districts of mixed-use zoning, or if in a residential area. zoned area, the owner occupies the house and rents one or more rooms. Type 2 STRs are houses located in residential areas that are not owner-occupied, and visitors can rent the entire house. All of these STRs must go through the application process and be approved by the City of Bend. Currently, in 2022, the City of Bend is considering making changes to existing STR codes, described below.
In April 2015, the City of Bend put in place rules and an application process to help regulate the STR market as they were really gaining popularity. Many existing vacation rentals and condominiums (Mt. Bachelor Village, for example) have been grandfathered in current regulations. Currently, some of the major permission issues are being edited. The first major proposed amendment is for Type 2 STRs extending the buffer zone from 250 feet to 500 feet. This means that no STR can be within 250 feet of another existing STR, and right now the City is looking to expand that to 500 feet. The other big amendment is one that allows STR licensees to submit proof of long-term leases, and this lease will replace the “submission of proof of use” of the STR to renew a license. The final amendment is that in the future there would only be one STR license per property, meaning only one unit in a duplex can have an STR license. At a meeting on September 12, the city’s Planning Commission plans to recommend that Bend City Council adopt these changes.
For those looking to get an STR license, I recommend going to the city’s website and checking out the plethora of information. Research an address to see if it is eligible for an STR permit, download an application, and read the latest information and rules about operating an STR. The city’s website also includes “good neighbor rules” that STRs must follow, as well as the ability for people to file a complaint about any issues they may have with neighbors’ vacation rentals.