Community Editorials Letters to the Editor

Guest column: City council member wants input on short-term rentals

Posted on January 10th, 2023 By: Jeni Woock

Dear Gig Harbor Citizens,

I would like your input on important legislation that will impact the future of your neighborhood, every block on every street.

On Thursday, January 19, at 3 p.m. the Gig Harbor City Council will have a study session to discuss whether to allow short-term rentals in our residentially zoned neighborhoods 365 days a year. Public comment is not allowed at these sessions. A short-term rental is a living space that’s rented for less than 30 consecutive days (via vrbo, Airbnb, etc).

The current proposed ordinance will allow investors and corporations to bid on and purchase houses in every neighborhood throughout Gig Harbor and turn those houses into commercial short-term rentals 365 days a year. There is ONE requirement: Someone must live in the house for 183 non-consecutive days during the year. This 183-day regulation is not enforceable as there is no way to keep track of who is in which house on which day.

Gig Harbor citizens need to be aware of this January 19 meeting and proposed ordinance. Please research the pros and cons of having short-term rentals in neighborhoods. It is important that you read and investigate for yourselves. Are these impacts something you do or do not want in your neighborhood?

The overwhelming support for short-term rentals is coming from investors, the majority of whom do not live in Gig Harbor. The city has proposed various compromises and regulations, but investors and corporations are not in favor. Other cities have been sued for putting regulations in place.  Seemingly the choice is all or nothing.

People want to make money. Short-term commercial rental businesses can be allowed in Gig Harbor commercial zones, and residents, living in their homes will be allowed to rent rooms and operate a Bed & Breakfast.

Before I make any decision on this, I want to hear from you. Please take a moment to let me know:

  • YES, I want short-term rental businesses, 365 days a year in all residentially zoned neighborhoods, OR
  • NO, I DO NOT want short-term rental businesses in our residentially zoned neighborhoods, OR
  • I agree that short-term rentals are OKAY in commercially zoned areas ONLY.

It’s important that every voice is heard, please share with all you know. If you choose, please send your comments to: [email protected]

NOTE: It is very important to include your residential address as these rules will affect neighborhoods within the city limits only.

Thank you. It is an honor to serve you.

Jeni Woock

Gig Harbor City Council

[email protected]