Business Community Government

Gig Harbor Council approves regulations on short-term rentals

Posted on March 2nd, 2023 By:

Gig Harbor now has an ordinance governing short term rentals – those Airbnb and VRBO rooms-for-rent in homes and accessory units.

The Gig Harbor City Council voted 6-1 on Monday, Feb. 27, to adopt regulations on short-term rentals within city limits. Council member Jeni Woock was the lone vote against the ordinance.

Short-term rentals are available to vacationers or other visitors for fewer than 30 consecutive nights.

Permit and business licenses

The regulations require short-term rental operators to obtain a type 2 permit (the fee for which is $650) and to have Washington state and Gig Harbor businesses licenses. Property owners must also submit an affidavit saying they have followed the city’s rules on short-term rentals.

The ordinance allows only one short-term rental per applicant or homeowner. Limited liability corporations and other businesses can also own short-term rentals.

The ordinance permits short-term rentals in all city zones that already allow dwelling units.

The ordinance also requires city staff to track how many applicants seek short-term rental permits each month. The city will post those updates on its website.

Ongoing monitoring

The council also directed city staff to hire a consultant to monitor and report on a number of issues, including:

  • How many short-term rentals are operating inside the city limits;
  • how much the city collects in lodging tax revenues from short-term rentals;
  • zones or neighborhoods that are impacted the most by short-term rentals;
  • compliance with the ordinance to assist the city’s code enforcement staff.

The ordinance culminates 18 months of study and discussion by city commissions, council members and staff.

Community Development Director Carl De Simas said the city held 22 public meetings on short-term rentals between Sept. 7, 2021, and Monday. The city took public comment at seven of the meetings, including the Feb. 13 city council meeting at which the ordinance was introduced.

The ordinance ends an 18-month moratorium on processing permit applications for short-term rentals.