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Bend Considers Changes To Short-Term Rental Code

BEND, OR -- The city of Bend is considering a major change to its short-term rental rules. Senior Planner Pauline Hardie says the goal is to increase housing options and inventory, "One direction from City Council is to propose an exemption to the Bend Development Code, as well as to the operating license that a property owner can use their short-term rental for over 12 months and not lose their short-term rental permit." She tells KBND News, "The City Council is interested in incentivizing short term rental permit-holders to use their property as long-term rentals. And the code today doesn’t really allow that." Currently, a permit-holder must use the unit as a short-term rental at least once every 12 months. 

The other proposed change is likely to reduce the overall number of short-term rentals in Bend. Hardie says Council wants to change density requirements following public feedback, "They directed staff to bring back a proposal increasing the distance between short-term rentals from 250’ to 500’." 

Hardie says there is a timeline in place for the changes and opportunities for the public to weigh in, "The Planning Commission is holding a work session on August 22nd at 5:30 p.m. and then a public hearing on September 12. And then, the City Council will hold a public hearing on October 5th. And the second reading, if all goes as planned, would be on October 19th. And then it would go into effect 30 days after that." That August 22nd Planning Commission work session will be hybrid - in person in Council Chambers, and virtually. Attendance instructions for the virtual meeting will be on the meeting agenda which will be posted on the Planning Commission webpage prior to the meeting. Comments can be sent ahead of the September 12th public hearing to phardie@bendoregon.gov.

According to city officials, Council’s 2021-23 biennium goals include: “Take meaningful action to make this statement a reality: People who live and work in Bend can afford housing in Bend.” The goal includes a strategy to “Pursue policy actions to increase the supply of housing as a platform for equity.”

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