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February 14, 2018

Another Maine city votes to limit short-term rentals

Rockland is the latest municipality to grapple with non-owner-occupied short-term rentals.

The PenBay Pilot reported that the City Council voted 3-2 to cap the number of such rentals at 45. Beginning March 15, no new such applications may be processed while the local housing task force deliberates the matter. In January, Mayor Valli Geiger said the cap proposal came in response to complaints of darkening neighborhoods, primarily in the city's South End.

Recently, South Portland's City Council took action related to non-owner-occupied rentals, when it gave first passage to a proposal banning non-owner-occupied rentals in all residential neighborhoods. Hosted stays in all areas of the city would still be possible, and non-homeowner-occupied rentals would be allowed only in commercial and mixed-use neighborhoods.

A deciding vote is slated for Feb. 20. If approved a second time, the ordinance will take effect June 1.

But South Portland Mayor Linda Cohen told the Forecaster the city will likely be sued over the restrictions on popular vacation-rental services like Airbnb and VRBO, citing a gofundme.com page set up to raise funds for litigation if the ordinance receives final approval

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