Most Read Contributor in United States, September 2016
House Bill No. 1863 proposes to amend the Pennsylvania
Municipalities Planning Code (MPC) by allowing municipalities to
more broadly define hotels in their zoning ordinances.
Representative Tina M. Davis, who represents a portion of
Bucks County from the 141st District of Pennsylvania and is one of
the sponsors of House Bill No. 1863, wrote in a memorandum
summarizing the proposed legislation that “[o]ur communities
are under siege by fly-by-night rental units. The owners are taking
advantage of the downturn in the housing market to snatch up
distressed properties, convert them into boarding houses and pack
them with as many weekly renters as possible. […]. The
short-term nature of these rental situations creates an environment
for tenants who are not invested in our communities. The sheer
number of tenants that are being crammed into these units are
creating traffic and safety concerns for neighboring homeowners and
leading to a deteriorating quality of life in our neighborhoods.
This legislation attempts to give municipalities a tool to provide
better accountability and safety to keep these tenants and our
neighborhoods out of harm’s way. … This bill does not
mandate a zoning change but simply gives the municipalities another
Specifically, House Bill No. 1863 proposes to add the following
language to the MPC as Section 603(m): “A zoning ordinance
may allow a municipality to classify as a hotel for zoning purposes
any residential rental property that has a lease term of less than
one month and to restrict the location of the hotel accordingly.
This subsection may not apply where the individuals residing in the
building are related to the building owner by blood, marriage,
adoption or guardianship.”
As for the status of House Bill No. 1863, it was referred
to the local government committee, where it remains.
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