WARRENTON — It is now legal in Warrenton for people to rent rooms in their homes to visitors.
The City Commission held the first reading of an ordinance Tuesday that outlines a new homestay lodging program. The program includes a permit application process and safety regulations people must comply with if they want to offer short-term rentals to visitors.
The safety regulations will go into effect Jan. 22, and people who are already offering this type of short-term rental will be given a grace period to make sure what they offer meets the new requirements.
The ordinance allows people to rent up to five bedrooms in their primary residence.
Other cities in Oregon have struggled to collect lodging taxes from rentals or have seen the rentals — especially of entire houses — impact long-term housing stock and prices. In Astoria, the short-term rental of entire homes is illegal, but code enforcers still see advertisements on popular websites like Airbnb.
Astoria adopted a homestay lodging license in December in an effort to curb illegal rentals and provide a clear process for people who want to rent out rooms legally.
Warrenton has not seen issues related to Airbnb-type rentals yet, Mayor Henry Balensifer has said.
The safety regulations passed Tuesday are a proactive step.
The city is still working on regulations around vacation rentals, where an entire housing unit is rented on a short-term basis, Balensifer noted after the meeting.