WENATCHEE — The Chelan County Planning Commission did not come to a decision earlier this week on possible short-term rental regulations.
The planning commission continued its discussion on regulations to July 9. The commission was expected to finish deliberations on Wednesday and send its recommended regulations to the Chelan County Commission. The Chelan County Commission planned to make a decision on Aug. 4. in regards to the regulations, but that timeline is likely to change, said Deanna Walter, Chelan County Community Development interim assistant director.
The planning commissioners did not strongly disagree with each other on any single part of the regulations. They discussed some of the following:
- Regulations around managing pools and hot tubs,
- Whether short-term rental owners living within 200-feet of their property qualified as owner occupied
- The maximum number of people allowed per bedroom and per short-term rental
- Whether there would be a grace period before the regulations went into effect
According to the draft proposal, the planning commission is considering a three-tier structure for its regulations:
- Tier 1 — Short-term rental owners who live on the premises and are present during the rental period. Single rooms can be rented out, but the premises can only be rented out in its entirety 15 total days in a calendar year.
- Tier 2 — Short-term rentals that are not a person’s principal residence and are rented more than 15 total calendar days a year.
- Tier 3 — Short-term rentals containing group facilities to host weddings, gatherings or retreats and who exceed the occupancy limits set by the code, which right now are at 10.
The regulations would ban new short-term rentals in:
- Leavenworth-Lake Wenatchee Overlay
- Manson Region Overlay
- Peshastin Region Overlay
- Residential zones in the Manson Urban Growth Area
- Residential zones in the urban growth areas assigned to the cities of Chelan, Entiat, Leavenworth and Wenatchee
Manson and Peshastin already have bans and or restrictions on short-term rentals in their areas.
The regulations would also ban the establishment of new short-term rentals, where an owner is not on site, if rentals make up more than 5% of the housing in their area, according to the draft regulations. The annual number of new short-term rental permits for tier 2 and tier 3 rentals would also be capped at a 1% increase of the total number of permitted rentals in the county.
If there is a limited number of spots for new short-term rentals, a lottery will be held each year, according to the draft.
The regulations would also allow short-term rental permits to be transferred to a new owner only once, according to the draft. The new owner would also only be able to renew their permit for three years, after which they would have to apply for a new permit.