In work that started nearly seven years ago, the Columbia City Council will decide Monday on short-term rental regulations within city limits.
Short-term rentals through sites such as Airbnb or Vrbo have operated unregulated and the ordinance up for discussion and a vote Monday could reign in the number available and put occupancy limits on registered facilities.
Proposed rules in the ordinance also require anyone operating a residence as a short-term rental that it be registered as a business with the city, meaning operators will have to pay lodging taxes to the city.
If approved by the council, any short-term rental regulations to the city’s unified development code will not go into effect until June 1, as the city will have to conduct further updates to its business license, rental conservation and taxation codes following any UDC updates.
The UDC updates also include a one-year grace period in which current operators can work to get into compliance with the updated codes. If the council approves the regulations Monday, that gives current operators 481 days to comply with the new ordinance.
The staff memo to the council goes more into the history of work toward regulation, public comments on short-term rentals and other considerations in relation to short-term and long-term rentals.
Charles Dunlap covers local government, community stories and other general subjects for the Tribune. You can reach him at [email protected] or @CD_CDT on Twitter. Subscribe to support vital local journalism.