PT council to consider short-term rental code

PORT TOWNSEND — After months of discussion and deliberation, the Port Townsend City Council will have its first opportunity to take action on an ordinance updating the city code on short term rental properties at tonight’s council meeting.

The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. in council chambers in Historic City Hall, 540 Water St.

After a staff presentation on the proposed ordinance will be a public hearing. The council will then deliberate and perhaps take action.

Should the ordinance pass, the council also is expected to lift a 180-day moratorium on permits for tourist homes and bed and breakfasts.

The moratorium was put in place on March 20 and extended to include bed and breakfasts on April 17 to ensure that all new permits on processes under the updated short-term rental codes.

Although the council has worked for months on the ordinance with the help of the city’s planning commission staff, the proposed ordinance doesn’t make any major changes to the code, according to City Manager David Timmons.

“The primary changes are it doesn’t allow properties to be converted into non-owner occupied vacation homes,” Timmons said.

Short-term rentals are defined in the city code as accommodations rented for fewer than 30 days. In Port Townsend that includes motels, bed and breakfasts and tourist homes, which are properties occupied by the owner but partially rented out on a short-term basis.

Short-term rentals are popular in Port Townsend, especially in the summer, since it is a popular tourist destination. However, Timmons said city officials are concerned that the popularity of short-term rentals is hurting the city by taking away affordable housing options from residents.

The proposed ordinance also clarifies some of the more confusing portions of the code.

One of the more sticky points was what exactly constitutes a kitchen and whether kitchens should be allowed in tourist homes.

The council did eventually agree to keep the ban on kitchens in tourist homes but allow such appliances as a small refrigerator and a microwave for guests to use.

The bulk of the council’s discussions and deliberations over the past three months has been on these details like kitchens.

“We cleared up a lot of inconsistencies in the code,” Timmons said. “The main change though is we’re not allowing non-owner occupied vacation rentals.”

________

Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 55052, or at [email protected]news.com.

More in News

Piper Pettit, project manager for the state Department of Transportation, speaks to the Port Angeles Business Association on Tuesday about upcoming fish passage projects that will significantly impact traffic in the city. (Ken Park/Peninsula Daily News)
Culvert plan in Port Angeles told

Construction expected summer 2023 at earliest

Memorial Day edition to be online only

Help available if needed to set up access

Danny McEnerney.
New Jefferson County Fair manager tells of upgrades

‘Focus on providing ways for people to get a dose of joy’

Port Townsend Paper fined for water quality violations

Power outages among reasons for spill, says general manager

tsr
Plan could add 3,000 square feet to Sequim Library

More details expected on Thursday

McDonald Creek, as seen from Old Olympic Highway on Sunday, May 22.
McDonald Creek fish passage project expected to begin this summer

Work to improve fish passage in McDonald Creek has moved a step… Continue reading

A crow makes off with a crab stolen from a gull on the beach at the Port Townsend Boat Haven. Cloudy skies are forecast Tuesday and Wednesday with high temperatures near 60 degrees. A chance of rain returns for Memorial Day weekend. (Steve Mullensky/for Peninsula Daily News)
Crab dinner to go at boat haven

A crow makes off with a crab stolen from a gull on… Continue reading

Washington state’s rate of COVID-19 cases on the rise

The rate of COVID-19 cases is rising in Washington. The… Continue reading

Orca, stuck overnight, finds its way into Strait

Researchers identify whale as 8-year-old male from transient pod

Most Read