Stillwater News

Public Hearing June 17: Stillwater City Councils looks to update regulations concerning home sharing, short-term rental

Released:Jun 12, 2019

MEDIA RELEASE

(STILLWATER, OKLAHOMA / June 12, 2019) – Did you know that using your house as a short-term rental is not allowed in Stillwater? That’s because charging for the sharing or short-term renting is a commercial activity, and there is no zoning regulation that allows that kind of activity.

However, at its June 17 meeting, the Stillwater City Council is holding a public hearing to hear from residents about changing the regulations concerning home sharing and short-term rentals in Stillwater.

The proposed ordinance on the agenda is looking at regulations for three residential zoning districts: Large Lot Single Family (RSL), Small Lot Single Family (RSS), and Two Family (RT). Long-term leases (any lease more than 30 days) are not affected by these proposed regulations.

According to Assistant City Manager Paula Dennison, “If you collect payments for sharing the house you live in or you rent out a house you own for periods of fewer than 30 days, you are engaged in the commercial use of your single-family or two-family residential property.”

And, as for all commercial activities, taxes should be collected.

“In fact,” Dennison said, “entities like Airbnb and VRBO are already collecting taxes for those participating properties in Stillwater.”

With the rise in the commercial use of houses, the City is proposing this City Code change to allow these uses in these the three zoning districts—thereby making them legal.

“We recognize that the new regulations require time to be fully applied to properties currently being used for home sharing or short-term rentals. We want a cooperative effort with all owners and operators to get their properties permitted,” she said.

The proposed new ordinance calls for the following:

  • For home sharing, a permit is necessary at a cost of $10 annually.

  • For short-term rentals, a specific use permit (SUP) is necessary prior to getting the $10 permit to operate. 

  • Both the home sharing permit and the short-term rental permit require a tax certificate from the State of Oklahoma. This ensures that appropriate taxes are remitted to the correct jurisdiction.

The public hearing on these regulations will take place during the City Council meeting Monday, June 17 in the Council Hearing Room at the Stillwater Municipal Building (723 S. Lewis St.) and begins at 5:30 p.m.

The public is welcome to attend and comment on this item. Those interested in speaking are encouraged to fill out a request to speak form online by 3 p.m. Monday at http://stillwater.org/speakatcouncil.

You can also fill out a request to speak form in person before the meeting.

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For media inquiries, contact the Department of Marketing and Civic Engagement at 405.742.8219 or email news@stillwater.org.

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