BOCC approves rental regulation software program

The Bonner County commissioners permitted the acquisition of a brand new software program to assist regulate short-term trip leases in a 2-1 vote Tuesday.

Bonner County Planning Director Jake Gabell mentioned the county at the moment doesn’t have a approach to monitor which short-term leases are in compliance with county ordinance permits and which aren’t.

“We’re solely at about 30-40%, relying what numbers you employ, of compliance proper now with these leases,” Gabell mentioned.

Bonner County Commissioner Steve Bradshaw agreed, saying at minimal, there are roughly 300 short-term leases which can be non-compliant. Realistically although, he mentioned that quantity might be nearer to 600-700.

Over the previous few months, the Planning Division has been testing out varied software program packages to assist county officers extra simply monitor which leases aren’t correctly permitted. The software program — which might be paid out of the Expertise Division’s software program funds — will price the county roughly $32,000 the primary 12 months and $29,000 for the second 12 months of use.

The planning director mentioned the ordinance won’t be actively enforced instantly by the Planning Division as it’s largely grievance pushed proper now. Bonner County Commissioner Luke Omodt mentioned he hopes it will carry peace of thoughts to the neighbors surrounding these trip parcels.

“A fundamental driver of that is the safety of high quality of life,” Omodt mentioned. “The compliance challenge is basically largely about neighbors and with the ability to shield the personal property rights of not simply our guests … but additionally that the standard of lifetime of the neighboring parcels just isn’t affected.”

The software program is especially for on-line monitoring of short-term rental listings, Commissioner Steve Bradshaw mentioned. It won’t be infringing on anybody’s privateness.

“In case you have an Airbnb,” he mentioned, “and also you promote it, they’ve a program that grabs that commercial in Bonner County. It notifies them that these are the marketed trip leases, Airbnbs, et cetera, in your county that don’t present up as having a allow. It’s solely by their [the property owner’s] personal commercial that that info is on the market.”

Moreover, the software program may have a 24-hour hotline that residents can name with complaints of noise, unlawful actions or different nuisances to neighboring items.

“Say it’s a Saturday night time and there’s a big fireplace,” Gabell mentioned. “Nobody from the Planning Division goes to point out up with a bucket of water and knock it out. However what you might do is make a cellphone name and that can go to the native [vacation rental representative] and it will be as much as them to reply.”

Commissioner Asia Williams raised some considerations about the price of the software program.

“I’ve considerations concerning the funds as a complete,” she mentioned. “We’ve already reported out that we’re probably going to begin our subsequent funds 12 months in contingency. So is that this the suitable time for us to make that call to do one thing like this?”

Whereas she agrees the software program would profit the county, Williams mentioned it’s at the moment not a necessity and she or he is anxious about spending more cash the county might not have.

Nevertheless, Omodt mentioned the price of the software program is well effectively beneath what it will price to rent one other Planning Division worker to spend their day discovering each trip rental in Bonner County and making certain it’s in compliance with county ordinance. Moreover, he mentioned he’d a lot relatively have a passive software program monitor down the non-compliant properties and have the holiday rental consultant take care of complaints versus losing the Bonner County Sheriff’s Workplace’s time responding to a number of grievance calls virtually each day.

The movement to approve the acquisition of this new software program handed in a 2-1 vote, with Williams voting in opposition to it.

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