Friday, December 30, 2016 / by Olivia Martin
There has been some controversy among Bozeman’s downtown residents this year over the matter of allowing vacation rentals in Bozeman’s historic neighborhoods. Residents are concerned with losing our “community character,” noise disturbances, and increased traffic from the number of vacation rentals being established in their neighborhood.
On August 8th, city commissioners voted to temporarily ban new permits for short-term rentals in most neighborhoods south of downtown. The city is now working on long-term regulations, taking considerations from public listening sessions, scheduled on the evenings of this coming January, and an online survey.
A number of public meetings have been set up for early 2017 to allow the citizens a voice.
According to Eric Dietrich, a Bozeman Chronicle Staff Writer, a number of listings for short-term rentals on websites like Airbnb and HomeAway have already been avoiding regulations and operating without permits in Bozeman. This is a problem that commissioners will have to address in their upcoming long-term regulations.
This ban of short-term rental permits was originally set to last six months, expiring February 8th, with intentions to observe its effects and allow time to develop other solutions. However, Chuck Winn, the Assistant City Manager, requests to extend the period to study “best practices” from other cities’ experiences, and consider the public’s input.