[3/29/22] Short-Term Rental Numbers

Posted in Local Government & Meetings

After reviewing hundreds of short-term rental applications from existing operations, Chelan County Community Development has a better picture of which areas of the county have hit caps set on short-term rentals and which areas still have room for growth.
The Short-Term Rental Code, passed last year, established caps in most areas of the county’s unincorporated and urban growth areas (UGA).

The numbers show that the Manson and Manson UGA area, which have 6 percent and 9 percent caps respectively, still have room for new short-term rentals. The numbers also show that all of the 98826 zip code area (Leavenworth, Lake Wenatchee and Plain) is over the cap, as well as the urban growth area of Peshastin.

By March 15 of every year, Community Development must determine the share of short-term rentals to the overall housing stock and whether any new short-term rental applications will be accepted for the following year in each zip code and urban growth area where the cap is not exceeded, according to the code.

Community Development has granted 657 provisional permits so far and has about a dozen more applications from existing businesses that are in the partial phase of being approved for a provisional permit, said Kirsten Ryles, manager of the Short-Term Rental Division for the department. In addition, she said the department is reviewing about 185 new applications that have been submitted so far.

In those areas where the cap is exceeded, an operation that was classified as “existing” during the provisional phase will continue to be allowed to operate, as long as they meet final permitting criteria.

New applicants who have applied to an area where the cap has been reached can re-apply in 2023 for a 2024 permit if room opens in that area. If room opens in an area that has reached its cap, Community Development will open an application window annually June 1-July 31. Applications from this year will not be rolled over to the new year.

The provisional permits also show that the majority of applicants, more than 80 percent, are categorized as Tier 2, meaning they are non-owner occupied, are allowed no more than 12 people and are subject to the limits set in some areas.

In other short-term rental news, Community Development recently hired a code enforcement liaison who will work with the Short-Term Rental Division. The new office employee begins April 1.