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TPCAR member response to Call to Action regarding short-term rentals and rural zoning nets success

At yesterday's Pierce County Council meeting, Resolution R2024-158s, drafted to include provisions which would have restricted short-term rentals (STR) and removed bonus density provisions for rural lands within the urban growth area (UGA), was amended after successful lobbying by TPCAR. The amended resolution includes a repeal of Amendment 7 (CPA 7), which restricted the use of accessory dwelling units as STRs. Both that item, and bonus density for rural housing, will now be included in an Environmental Impact Study (EIS) to determine if further actions should be taken by Council. The EIS report is due back to the Council by October 15, 2024 with a public comment period included in the process.


On April 11, 2024 the Pierce County Council initiated 20 proposed amendments to the Comprehensive Plan 2024. The Pierce County Council requested the Planning and Public Works Department (PPW) conduct an environmental review of each initiated amendment and evaluate each initiated amendment.

Amendment 7 (CPA 7) requested Planning and Public Works (PPW) to:

“Establish policies and development regulations for short-term rental housing including limits on the number of housing units available for this use in the Gig Harbor Peninsula, Key Peninsula and Anderson - Ketron Islands Community Plan Areas. Limit the number of guests permitted in short-term rental units connected to on-site septic systems to the capacity of the septic system. Require a license or permit for establishing legal short-term rental housing throughout the County.”

The changes focus on:

  1. Protecting the character of residential neighborhoods;
  2. Considering impacts to infrastructure;
  3. Acknowledging that approaches to short-term rentals will be different throughout the County; and
  4. Understanding that short-term rentals can support a robust tourism economy and supplement household income for property owners.

Key dates in the current legislative process:

  • April 2nd, 9th, and 11th, 2024 the Pierce County Planning Commission held public hearings to consider the Council initiated request per Resolution 2023-41s.
  • April 16th, 2024, the Planning Commission voted against recommending CPA 7 by a vote of 7 in favor and 0 against. In its discussion, the commission was unable to identify specific problems which were sought to be resolved by CPA 7 as current code requirements allow the county to address impacts on neighborhoods.
  • May 10th, 2024 the Pierce County Council adopted Resolution R2024-158s (CPA 7) that included the following additional details:
    • New ADUs in the rural area would be prohibited from renting to guests for less than a 30-day time period.
    • The total number of guests permitted to stay in a short-term rental shall be based on the capacity of the septic system.
    • Bonus density for rural lands within the Urban Growth Area
  • May 21st, 2024 the Pierce County Council voted 6-0 to repeal CPA 7.

The EIS will be conduct by ESA ( In the coming weeks, TPCAR will be working with county staff to understand the scope of the study to determine next steps.

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