Meeting Monday on rental code

The city of Langley is getting serious about keeping track of who’s renting out space to visitors on a short-term basis.

On July 29, the city council is holding a special meeting with just two things on the agenda: saluting the flag and conducting the first reading of proposed amendments to the short-term rental code.

City officials started discussing code amendments more than a year ago in response to the rise of AirBnB and short-term rentals in general. Officials found that people were renting out houses, apartments and rooms without permits; two moratoriums were adopted on applications for short-term rentals in residential neighborhoods.

The proposed amendments would establish a short-term retail licensing system, add a new type of short-term rental permits for whole homes on a limited basis, and establish regulations regarding inspections, parking, density and other issues.

The council has received voluminous public comments on the issue. One of the concerns expressed by residents regards the city’s ability to enforce the code. In response, the city is contracting with the firm Host Compliance, which specializes in monitoring and enforcing short-term rentals.

Also, the city is setting up a 24-hour hotline for anonymous reporting.

The meeting Monday is for the first reading of the amendments, a necessary step before they can be adopted at a later meeting. The meeting begins at 5:30 p.m.

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