Tyndall Wont Sign STR Ordinance

BERLIN– A short-term rental ordinance will take effect in Berlin without the signature of Mayor Zack Tyndall.

Tyndall confirmed this week that he would not be signing the ordinance approved by the Berlin Town Council last month regulating short-term rentals. He said he didn’t agree with the residency requirements worked into the ordinance by the council.

“I did not sign the short-term rental ordinance because, as I stated previously when I was a council member, I believe the owner-occupied provision provides a negative impact on some of our residents that call Berlin home,” he said.

In March, the council voted 3-2 to approve an ordinance setting up short-term rental regulations for the town. Though officials initially discussed a requirement to allow short-term rentals in the R-1 and R-2 districts only if the home was the owner’s primary residence per state records, the ordinance presented last month did not include that provision. Tyndall acknowledged he’d removed it after hearing concern about it. Dozens of residents in attendance for the March public hearing, however, said they felt it was necessary to protect Berlin’s neighborhoods. In the end, the council’s approval of the ordinance came after it was amended to work the owner occupancy requirement back in.

Tyndall said this week was not signing the ordinance. While he didn’t feel strongly enough about the issue to veto the ordinance, he said it would go into effect July 1 without his signature. Any time an ordinance is approved, the mayor has the option of signing it, not signing it or vetoing it.

“The mayor has a few tools at their disposal,” he said.

Tyndall said he supported the ordinance the way it had been introduced, without the primary residence requirement.

“In my opinion it still protected the integrity of the neighborhood,” he said.

Town staff are currently in the process of implementing the changes mandated by the new ordinance. Planning Director Dave Engelhart says a short-term rental license application is being drafted and inspection procedures developed. He said the program will be ready to kick off in July.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.