P&Z Commission to Consider Limitations to Short Term Rentals in Greenwich

The Planning and Zoning Commission will take up the topic of short term rentals at their Tuesday, Nov 23 meeting at 5:00, which starts at 5pm via Zoom. Click here for Agenda and Zoom.

Currently there are no regulations on short term rentals in Greenwich.

There is a regulation that says residents in a detached single family dwelling are allowed to take in two boarders.

Beyond that, a rooming house is defined as, “a dwelling in which rooms for living purposes are rented for compensation to five (5) or more persons other than the members of the family of the proprietor.”This use is permitted by special permit in the R-6 zone only.”

The town conducted a basic search on AirBnb.com and VRBO.com, and they say it appears there are approximately 300 rental units. (There are over 15,000 residential units in Town.)

Specifically the commission will consider a Zoning Text Amendment to amend Sections 6-5(a) and 6-154 of the town’s building regs to define and regulate short term rentals.

The commission will consider adding the following language to Section 6-5 (43.4):

The temporary rental of part or all of a residential property for fewer than 30 consecutive nights at a time. This is permitted in all Zones, provided that:

1.The Short-term rental is in a structure with a Certificate of Occupancy fora dwelling unit. Short-term rental of accessory units approved under Section 6-99 of the BZR is not permitted.

2.The Short-term rental shall only be used for lodging-type uses. Non lodging uses, including, but not limited to, parties, receptions, weddings, filming, photo shoots, corporate retreats and fundraisers, shall not be allowed.

Andinsection6-154 a change would require short term rentals to have sufficient garage our outdoor parking space.

Short term rentals have not previously been limited. Zoning enforcement staff receive a call about short term rentals once every couple months. The calls have focused on increases in traffic, number of parked cars , renting out of an inappropriate structure such as a “converted garden shed.”

Most calls have stemmed from rentals in multi-family dwellings.

On the issue of noise or other disturbances, enforcement is handled by police, just as there would be for any disturbance.

In its meeting materials, the commission noted that municipalities across the country use a variety of techniques to control short term rentals, including: a. durational caps on rentals; b. caps on the number of days property may be rented during the year; c. density controls;d.special permit requirements; e.parking requirements; f.neighbor notification; g.establishing a registration system; h.owner-occupancy requirements; and i. distinguishing between single-family, multifamily, and mixed-use neighborhoods.

A P&Z workshop attended by members of the public was held in September.

It was noted anecdotally that the existing short term rentals were good for the Town economically because they provide an option to “expensive hotels”and also allowed people to try out Greenwich during the pandemic.Lastly that they provided additional options for people desirous of additional income such as an elderly person wanting to stay in town with an income source.

The meeting on Nov 23 begins at 5:00pm:

Please use the link below to view, listen, and/or participate in this meeting:

https://greenwichct.zoom.us/j/88901521350?pwd=Ri9JakFwTXNoc1BLeUhlZE0vMjRGUT09Password: 0518864