Short Term Rental Regulations Will Receive Their Final Vote

by Jillian Riseman, CivicLex

Council will vote Tuesday on a comprehensive Short Term Rental (STR) regulation proposal. This proposal will set licensing and registration requirements for STR operators, and regulate how STRs can be operated in various zones in Lexington.

STRs are rental properties intended for short length stays of a few days, weeks, or maybe a month — these are typically operated through platforms AirBNB and Vrbo. Currently STR operators pay a yearly operation tax, but otherwise STRs are unregulated in Lexington.

At-Large Councilmember James Brown and District 5 Councilmember Liz Sheehan released an initial proposal in Fall 2022, and have made multiple revisions after hearing input from the public, important stakeholders, and the Planning Commission. Highlights of the final proposal include:

  • Unhosted units, which are units where the STR operator does not live on the property, must seek a conditional use permit if the STR is in a residential zone.
  • Hosted units, where the operator lives on the property, do not need any conditional use permits.
  • STR operators must apply for and maintain an operation license, alongside paying an annual fee.
  • Occupancy limits for STRs at 12 occupants in most zones.
  • STRs in the B-1 (Neighborhood Business), P-1 (Professional Office) and all Mixed Use Zones do not have an occupancy limit.

Currently operating STRs will have a six-month grace period to come into compliance with licenses, fees, and any necessary permits.

The final vote on this proposal will be held on Tuesday, July 11 at 5pm in Council Chambers. You can attend in person or watch live on LexTV.

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Republished under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

Top photo Council member Kathy Plomin (left) and Council member Jame Brown at a June 29 council meeting. (LexTV screenshot)