Town of Berlin considering regulating or even banning short term rentals

BERLIN, Md. – The Town of Berlin is considering regulating or even banning short-term rentals. This would affect things like Air BnB’s, but we’re told this is all in an effort to preserve Berlin’s small town charm.

Mayor Gee Williams said, “I think everyone recognized that we need to address this and set up some kind of standard.”

All across the country, Air BnB’s are increasing in popularity. In fact, if you look up Berlin on the Air BnB app, you’ll find plenty of results. As it stands right now, the Town of Berlin has no laws regulating these kinds of properties.

Mayor Williams said, “We currently have no policy or anything in the code regarding short term rentals.”

Mayor Williams says he wants to maintain Berlin’s small town feel.

“We’ve been very fortunate and successful as promoting Berlin as a place that has 19th century charm and 21st century living and we try to live up to that, but at the same time we don’t want to be a resort,” he said.

It’s that small town charm that keeps visitors like Rebecca Marsden coming back each year for more.

Marsden said, “I like the idea that it is a quaint small town and not full of tourists all the time.”

Mayor Williams says he doesn’t want to ban short term rentals altogether, but he says the town is considering it.

“We don’t want it fully restricted or outlawed, but at the same time, we don’t want to be overrun by short term rentals,” Mayor Williams said.

Another option the town is considering is only allowing short term rentals in certain areas.

We spoke to visitors to hear what they think about all of this and they said they understand both sides.

Ed O’Hare, a visitor said, “I get the desire to keep it that flavor. I also get the other side if you live here part time, and if you have a property and you want to make some rental money off of it, why not? That’s America.”

Overall, nothing has been set in stone quite yet but the town is looking into it.

Mayor Williams said, “It’s better to have something in the books than nothing.”

Recommendations will be sent to the Planning and Zoning Commission in January and then they will make recommendations to the council.

The Mayor of Berlin expects that the town will have something firmly in place sometime before the spring.

Categories: Local News, Maryland