Short Term Rentals & Registration

On July 17, 2018, the City Council passed Ordinance #22-17/18 and Ordinance #23-17/18.  These ordinances will become effective 20 days from date of passage (August 7).  Application and enforcement of the ordinances will begin January 1, 2019.

The City Council also passed Order #14-18/19 directing the City Manager to organize 4-6 community forums on the topic that are professionally facilitated. These forums will not be held if either or both amendments to Chapter 14 and Chapter 27 do not become effective.


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A history of this process is detailed below.


On February 20, 2018, the City Council passed Ordinance #12-17/18 and Ordinance #13-17/18 regulating short term rentals.

Update:  Referendum Petition Filed 

On Monday, March 12, 2018, at 3:45pm, the City Clerk’s office in the City of South Portland received a referendum petition for Ordinance #12-17/18 and Ordinance #13-17/18.

Per the Charter and Chapter 6 of the Code of Ordinances, the City Clerk’s office will begin certifying signatures on the petition and has 20 days to do so.  The referendum petition may not be amended or supplemented.  The petition needs a minimum of 1,000 signatures of registered voters of the City to be valid.  If the petition fails to obtain the minimum number of signatures, the petition effort fails and the ordinances go into effect.   

If the petition meets the minimum number of signatures, the ordinances are suspended from going into effect, and the petition will go before the City Council at the next regular City Council meeting for reconsideration.  If the City Council fails to repeal the ordinances, the ordinances will be submitted to referendum at an upcoming election (to be determined).

The City Clerk’s office is working have a result as soon as possible.  


Update: Ordinance #12-17/18 & Ordinance #13-17/18 suspended from going into operation

On March 15, 2018, the City Clerk's office certified 1,000 signatures on the referendum petition.  This represents the required number of valid signatures to suspend the referred ordinances from going into operation (in accordance with Charter Sec. 1106) and move the petition forward to the next City Council meeting for consideration.   

The City Clerk's office will continue to certify all pages of the petition and will have a final number of valid signatures to present to the Council at the March 20 Council Meeting.   

Please click here for agenda materials for the March 20 Council meeting.




As a result of the receipt of a certified referendum petition, the South Portland City Council will conduct a public hearing on whether to (a) repeal Ordinances #12-17/18 and #13-17/18 regarding short-term residential rental regulations, or (b) to send the ordinances to referendum vote. 

All interested persons are invited to attend the public hearing and will be given an opportunity to be heard at the hearing.


Date of Public Hearing:       Tuesday, April 3, 2018     

Time:              7 P.M.          

Place:  Council Chambers, City Hall, 25 Cottage Road, South Portland  


Update:  City Council Votes 6-0 to repeal Ordinance #12-17/18 and Ordinance #13-17/18.

At the April 3, 2018 Council Meeting, the City Council voted to repeal these ordinances.  The City Council will be taking up this topic again for discussion at an upcoming workshop.  Please refer to upcoming City Council workshops for more information.