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Summit County

Nighty rental public hearing is Wednesday at 6 p.m.

LONDON, UK - May 15 2020: Airbnb home rental logo on a phone wit
ink drop
stock.adobe.com 349207957
It's estimated there are about 5,400 nightly rental listings in Summit County. The county is holding a public hearing to discuss halting its licensing program while it comes up with new regulations for the industry.

Summit County is asking for public input on whether to halt its nightly rental licensing program while it works to regulate the offerings found on sites like Airbnb.

Earlier this month, the Summit County Council asked the county’s attorneys to prepare an ordinance halting the county’s nightly rental licensing program. If the measure passed, existing licenses would remain in place, but no new licenses would be issued for the rest of the year.

Councilors had just been told they could regulate nightly rentals and wanted time to craft new rules without an influx of new license applications. But when the ordinance came before the council last week, so did a group of people opposed to the plan, many of them apparently Realtors. Instead of imposing the licensing moratorium, the council delayed a decision in favor of gathering more public input.

A public hearing is scheduled at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Ledges Event Center, 202 Park Road in Coalville. The council will also broadcast the meeting and accept comments via Zoom. The county is seeking opinions on just the moratorium, not the broader issue of regulating nightly rentals.

According to the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, there were about 5,400 nightly rentals listed in Summit County in 2021. The institute’s report says 21.5% of Summit County’s housing stock was listed as short-term rentals last year, the highest percentage in the state.

The Park City Board of Realtors said in emails that the licensing moratorium could threaten real estate deals already under contract. A press release from the Realtors said part of their mission is to advocate for private property rights.

Recent online activity shows some locals support regulating nightly rentals. Concerns include excessive noise and partying, illegal fires in dangerous areas and parking congestion. Some also worried about homes in their neighborhood being filled with a rotating cast of visitors rather than long-term residents.

The hearing comes at the end of a council meeting set to start at 2:45 p.m. with a dedication of a new mural in Hoytsville. The council is also expected to host Utah Sen. Ron Winterton and Rep. Kera Birkeland to discuss legislative priorities.

A Summit County staff report suggests the council will likely discuss H.B. 462, which strongly incentivizes dense development at Kimball Junction.