Skamania County has launched a planning process to address short-term vacation rentals (STVRs) and invites you to fill out an online survey by April 30, 2020.
The Board of County Commissioners has directed the Community Development Department to work on developing policies and regulations to address the growing number of short-term vacation rental (STVR) units in unincorporated Skamania County. Staff will work with the Board of County Commissioners, the Planning Commission, and stakeholders to develop a program for implementation beginning in January 2021.
A STVR is generally understood to be the rental of a residential dwelling unit, accessory building, or an individual room for a period of less than 30 days. They are generally furnished spaces used for transient lodging, usually in place of more traditional lodging establishments such as hotels. These units can be divided into those that are owner-occupied and not owner-occupied. Some common scenarios include:
- Owner is present during rental; renting out one or more bedrooms in their home
- Owner is not present during rental; renting out the owner’s unit for a short period of time while owner is away
- Owner-occupied duplex or home with accessory dwelling unit; renting out one or more units, not the owner’s unit
- Single family home; non-owner-occupied; property used solely for short-term rentals
- Single family home or dwelling unit leased to a long-term tenant; lease does not prohibit sub-letting and tenant creates their own short-term rental
The concept isn’t entirely new, but increased tourism to the Columbia River Gorge and the proliferation of online vacation rental platforms such as Airbnb, Vacasa, and VRBO has caused an apparent increase in the number of these units throughout Skamania County that the County is now seeking to address.
How will the responses of the survey be used?
The purpose of the survey is to collect information needed to shape decisions associated with short-term rental policies and regulations. The results from the survey will be shared with the Board of County Commissioners and Planning Commission and will be considered for policy development in addition to other sources of information such as best practice findings, existing conditions, stakeholder feedback received at other venues, legal considerations, etc.
How can I see the results of the survey?
The survey results will be posted on this website in May 2020.
Will my responses be kept confidential?
Yes. We are not collecting any contact information through the survey. Individual survey responses will not be attributed to any individual person.
What regulations are currently in place for STVRs?
The County has no regulations specific to STVRs in place at this time and uses a mix of existing County and state regulations to respond to complaints regarding STVRs. Generally, whole-house rentals are allowed and other types of rentals that do not violate state requirements for commercial transient accommodations may be allowed. Operators are required to remit lodging taxes. https://dor.wa.gov/find-taxes-rates/other-taxes/special-hotelmotel-tax
I have concerns about a STVR in my neighborhood. Who should I contact?
Please contact Alan Peters at email@example.com if you would like to be notified of project updates.