Vacation Rentals by Owner and Airbnb have been an important part of the Walla Walla visitor experience. In addition, they provide revenue and equity to property owners who rent their houses for short-term transient accommodations.
Earlier this summer, the City of Walla Walla staff presented various options to City Council to address short-term lodging (UB 06/26/2016).
"In a special report on the topic, city Development Services Director Elizabeth Chamberlain noted several regulation options officials could enact. Among them:
Prohibition of STRs (short-term rentals) in residential zones, which the Washington cities of Leavenworth, Friday Harbor and Ocean Shores have done.
- Sufficient parking, with a possible requirement of one parking space per bedroom rental.
- 24-hour management contact.
- Inspections and business licenses.
- Application fees to cover city costs.
- Prohibition of RVs, travel trailers and tents.
- Verification that lodging taxes have been paid.
- High fines for violations or infractions.
In her report, Chamberlain estimated somewhere between 107 to 133 short-term rentals operate in the area through websites like VRBO, HomeAway and Airbnb."
Voices from both sides of the issue, opponents and supporters alike attended the packed session (UB 06/26/2016).
Council instructed city staff to come back in 60 days with their recommendations in a second public session. That late August session will be announced and open to the public.
Posted on August 4, 2016 at 11:28 am