Chelan County task force puts forward short-term rental rules

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WENATCHEE — Chelan County commissioners received long-awaited guidance Tuesday on how to manage short-term rentals — a fast-growing segment of the rural residential economy that’s stymied regulation attempts since 2019.

Among other things, the task force deputized by county commissioners recommends that existing vacation rentals in unincorporated areas of the county be allowed to continue operation, if they comply with all safety codes and standards. The number of new short-term rentals would be capped, and each rental would have a maximum allowed occupancy.

Community Development Director Jim Brown and Commissioner Chairman Bob Bugert both said the task force coped well with a controversial topic.

County commissioners voted unanimously to put the recommendations into a draft county code, which they’ll consider at a workshop June 1. A public hearing on the code will be held next month before it’s adopted.