Planning commission takes another pass at STR regulations

by Jackie Nunnery

LANCASTER—Following last month’s public hearing on short-term rentals (STR), the Lancaster planning commission on February 16 continued its discussions.

“When we first started drafting this, the idea was trying to find middle ground,” said county administrator Don Gill. “And I think we’ve achieved that.”

Proposed elements of the new STR ordinance and updates to related zoning ordinances include updating definitions for hosted and unhosted rentals; adding hosted rentals to the general agriculture, residential general, residential community, residential medium general zoning districts and the waterfront residential overlay; and adding a special exception requirement for unhosted rentals in the same districts. Both hosted and unhosted rentals would be limited to a maximum of 10 people overnight and a maximum of 240 rental nights per calendar year. Rentals would also be limited to no more than two rental contracts in a seven-day period. All rentals must register with the county and pay the transient occupancy tax, currently 2%.

Commission member Latoy Davenport said the county “should find the people who aren’t paying attention to their property and hold them accountable. The community should not be bothered and . . .

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