BOZEMAN — The Bozeman City Commission Tuesday night passed an ordinance to ban certain short-term rentals but added a grandfather clause for existing "Type 3" rentals.
Commissioners passed an ordinance to ban any future non-owner occupied short-term rentals, also known as Type 3 rentals, amending the ordinance to grandfather in current rental units.
Commissioner Christopher Coburn commented during the meeting, "We are in a housing crisis now and I don't think anyone else up here, aside from me, has dealt with trying to find a rental in this town in the last five years."
Many people came to the meeting to share their thoughts with the commission before the vote.
One man stated, "Last August, like many others, I faced the reality of being laid off from my job. This event, in conjunction with the economic pressures of our time, has made the income from our STR property not a luxury, but a vital lifeline for our family."
Another woman shared, "I believe this ordinance, while it may not solve all of the housing issues, will be a good start and not only providing more available housing for our community, but also it will protect future housing from being bought out by investors."
Three commissioners voted to pass the ordinance. Commission Coburn voted no, opposing the grandfather clause because he says Type 3 rentals are only providing housing for people who don't live here. He even addressed the room before the vote.
"If you are someone who rents in Bozeman who is being displaced I’m sorry for what’s about to maybe happen now,” said Commissioner Coburn.
Airbnb Policy Manager Jordan Mitchell says they'll continue to work with the city and he believes this was a good outcome allowing current Type 3 rentals to remain.
"We're really excited that they decided to protect people that are home-sharing here in Bozeman," said Mitchell.
For some Bozeman residents like Joey Morrison, who's also running for Mayor, keeping these current short-term rentals is a setback.
"Housing is being used as a commercial product rather than the purpose that it's intended for, which is for people to live in," says Morrison.