City Council Approves Text Changes to the Zoning Ordinance Including Language to Limit Short-Term Rentals in Some Residential Neighborhoods

May 23, 2019 | 0 comments

Tonight, the City Council passed for the final time the Committee on Ordinances’ recommendation for text changes to the zoning ordinance that will work to limit short-term rental units in the City of Providence.

“This text change preserves the quality of life in our residential neighborhoods,” stated Majority Leader Jo-Ann Ryan (Ward 5) and Chairwoman of the Committee on Ordinances. “It will help protect the much needed housing stock in the city of Providence, and this minor change to the zoning ordinance will put limitations on short-term housing rentals in only residentially zoned neighborhoods. With a decrease in housing stock due to short-term rentals, our residents are finding it harder and harder to find an affordable home. These short-term rental units being off the residential rental market are increasing the cost of other rental units, and we need to consider the needs of all our residents.”

With the growth of company’s like Airbnb city’s like Providence have found themselves at a crossroads. How do we protect our neighborhoods, our shortage of housing stock, and also embrace investment opportunities for our residents? The Council believes that by making these slight text changes to the zoning ordinance in residential neighborhoods we will achieve that end.

The text changes will require all short-term rental units to be in owner-occupied dwellings in residentially zoned neighborhoods, and owners will need to get a FREE permit from the City’s Department of Inspection and Standards yearly.

This decision came after much discussion and deliberation with community members and city planning officials.  The City Planning Department held a public hearing in 2018, and just this past May the Council’s Committee on Ordinances held a well attended public hearing on the matter.

This modest text change to the zoning ordinance will preserve housing stock, quality of life for our neighbors, and will continue to allow investment opportunities for residents.

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