Bozeman Takes a Bold Step in Housing Policy with New Short-Term Rental Ordinance

Starting December 14, 2023, Bozeman's Ordinance 2149 limits short-term rentals to 'Legacy Type 3' with valid permits

By Drew Monroe | Published on 12/13/2023, 3:42:00 PM

In a move that's sure to spark conversation over the dinner table, Bozeman has decided to shake up its housing game. As of December 14, 2023, the city's latest ordinance, number 2149, is putting the brakes on Type 3 short-term rentals (STRs). Why, you ask? To strike a delicate balance between keeping residents happy, the local housing market stable, and the thriving world of Airbnb-esque rentals humming along.

The scoop: This isn't just any old policy update. Existing, rule-abiding Type 3 STRs with a shiny city hosting permit get to continue their operations, now rebranded as "Legacy Type 3." It's like getting a VIP pass in the ever-evolving STR club. Bozeman's move is part of a larger narrative unfolding across the U.S., as cities grapple with how STRs are reshaping the housing landscape.

Not Flying Solo: From Dallas to New York City, cities are scratching their heads, trying to figure out the STR puzzle. How do you keep housing affordable and available, yet still let homeowners and local businesses reap the benefits of STRs? Some cities are tightening the reins, while others are playing it cool, embracing the economic perks STRs bring to the table.

On one side, STRs are a way for many property owners to make some extra income or in some cases supplement retirement savings. On the other, they're seen as neighborhood destabilizers, gobbling up long-term rental stock and potentially hiking up rents. In Bozeman, opinions are as varied as the toppings at a Bridger Brewing – residents, businesses and policymakers aren't all singing the same tune.

One thing is certain: Bozeman's new rulebook on STRs is stirring up mixed feelings. Some are giving it two thumbs up, seeing it as a safeguard for affordable, long-term housing. Others, however, are less than thrilled, viewing it as an unnecessary clampdown on property rights and a wet blanket on local tourism. How this continue to unfolds in 2024 will be anyone's guess.