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Short Term Rental Permitting

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What are Short Term Rentals (STRs)?

Commonly referred to as vacation homes, tourist homes, or vacation rentals, short term rentals are the use of a dwelling unit, or a portion thereof which is rented for the purpose of overnight lodging for a period of thirty (30) days or less.  

Are Short Term Rentals Regulated in the City of Sandpoint?

Yes.  In June of 2018, The Sandpoint City Council revised Title 3, Chapter 12: Short Term Rental of Dwelling Units.  A valid permit must be in place to operate a short term rental within the City of Sandpoint.  To review the code please click here.

Where are STRs allowed?

STRs are allowed in residential and commercial zones so long as all applicable standards are met.  Within the residential zones, however, there may be no more than one STR per parcel. For example, if you own a parcel with a single family dwelling unit and an accessory dwelling unit (ADU), you may obtain a permit to rent out one or the other as a vacation rental, but not both at once. Additionally, there are two categories of vacation rentals within residential zones which have different standards:

  • Owner Occupied: Where the owner of a dwelling unit resides on the parcel for a minimum of 6 months out of a calendar year. Homeowner occupied tax exempt status shall be considered to be proof of homeowner occupied status. There is no limit on the number of owner-occupied STRs that may be permitted within residential zones.
  • Non-owner Occupied: Any parcel that does not meet the standards of owner occupied status is considered non-owner occupied. Units that fall into this category are limited to a total of 35 within the entirety of the City's residential zones. If 35 permitted units already exist you may request to be placed on a waiting list to obtain a permit. Additionally, notification to neighbors within 200 feet for non-owner occupied STRs within residential zones is required. NOTE: Waterfront developments in a residential zone of 10 units or more are exempt from the notification requirement and are not counted towards the 35 unit limitation.

What standards apply to all STRs within the City?

  1. Each short term rental must have a local representative who permanently resides within twenty (20) vehicular miles of Sandpoint city limits.
  2. Each short term rental must pass a public safety inspection to validate emergency egress standards as well as operable and properly placed smoke alarms, fire extinguishers and CO detectors, as applicable.
  3. Compliance with the the City of Sandpoint's 7% Hotel/Motel Occupancy Tax (Title 3, Chapter 10) is required, along with any applicable state taxes.
  4. No recreational vehicle, travel trailer, tent or other temporary shelter may be used as a short term rental.

How do I get my property permitted?

  1. Check with the Planning Department by calling (208) 263-3370 or by email to see if your property is eligible.
  2. Review the inspection checklist for applicable public safety standards and schedule an inspection with the Building Division by calling (208) 263-3407 or by email.
  3. Fill out a Short Term Rental Application.
  4. Fill out the Resort City Tax application form.
  5.  Turn in the following to the Planning Department along with the application fee:
  6. *You must also include the following if applying for a non-owner occupied STR in a residential zone that is not part of a waterfront development of 10 units or more: 
    • Notify neighbors within 200 feet of your parcel by mailing them a letter telling them of your intentions (ensure you include the phone # of the local representative in this letter).  Typically, title companies will generate the required address list.

    If you have any additional questions, please contact Sandpoint Planning Department (208) 263-3370.