Ocean City to consider short-term rental ban tonight

Ocean City’s planning and zoning commission is scheduled to meet tonight about the possibility of banning short-term rental properties in some residential neighborhoods.

The meeting was prompted by complaints from year-round residents in Mallard Island, an upscale community of single-family homes on the bay. The idea has also generated concern that a change will hurt investment by other property owners, who rely on rental income to subsidize maintenance and other costs.

The commission is looking at the possibility of changing the rules for property owners in single-family neighborhoods considered R-1, including Mallard Island, Caine Woods, Montego Bay and Little Salisbury.

Any measure would have to receive the recommendation of the commission, as well as approval by the mayor and City Council. In Garrett County,  crafting the 2006 ordinance that regulates Deep Creek Lake rentals of two weeks or less, took years.

Public officials said they expect hundreds to turn out at Tuesday’s meeting.

“A lot of people are going to talk about it,” said Blaine Smith, Ocean City's assistant director of planning and zoning.

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