New regulations for B&Bs and short-term rentals in Town of Bath could be effective July 1

by Trish Rudder

Adding to the Town of Bath Municipal Code Chapter 18, Article 5, “Bed and Breakfast Facilities, AIRBNB and other short-term rental facilities,” the Bath Town Council passed a first reading on May 7 regarding new regulations for operating these facilities.

A second reading of the ordinance was set to be held on Tuesday, May 21, per the council’s draft agenda. All council members voted unanimously on May 7 to approve the first reading of the new rules.

Effective July 1, Bed and Breakfast or short-term rental facilities are required to obtain a business license for a yearly fee of $200 and will be charged at the time of issuing the license and at the time of renewal, town officials have proposed.

According to the ordinance, the purpose of the regulations is to provide a procedure to allow the rental of private residences to visitors on a short-term basis, while ensuring that such rental use does not create adverse impacts to residential neighborhoods due to excessive traffic, noise and density.

Additionally, this ordinance is intended to ensure that the number of occupants within such rental units does not exceed the design capacity of the structure to cause health and safety concerns, and that minimum health and safety standards are maintained in such units to protect visitors from unsafe or unsanitary conditions.

A link to the proposed ordinance’s rules and regulations in its entirety can be read from the ordinance.

A copy of this proposed ordinance is available at the Town of Bath office at 271 Wilkes Street.