The basic problem is not the existence of short-term rentals — the basic problem is that they exist in residential neighborhoods.
Short Term Rentals in residential neighborhoods is a quality of life issue for its residents, not an economic one for Talbot County and a limited few.
A quick web search shows that governments around the country are now getting a handle on this rental phenomenon and are changing regulations to help their full-time citizens and traditional lodging industry. A recent court ruling in the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania said a Short-Term Rental is in fact a commercial use and should not be in a residential zone.
If the Talbot County Council wants to continue allowing Short Term Rentals in Residential zones, they must consider dividing STR’s into two classes of license. One for a homeowner who would like to rent their principal residence (original intent for STR) and one for owners whose property is not their principal residence.
A Principal Residence STR, meaning that the owner lives in that home for more than half the year and pays income taxes to Talbot County, could be allowed to rent in any of Talbot’s residential zones. After all they are a part of the community, they are neighbors and friends and if something should go awry, it would be handled quickly.
A second STR class owned as a second home or investment should have stricter regulations as this is now a commercial business and will reduce property values. These should not be allowed in neighborhoods like Bentley Hay, Rio Vista, Tunis Mills, Newcomb, Tilghman, Cordova or any of Talbots villages.
Lastly don’t think a licensed STR is only for vacationers, the only restriction in the law is that the lease must be for a minimum of 3 nights. A business could obtain a STR license in any residential zone and rent to anyone for any reason.