What is required to operate a short-term rental (Airbnb) in Gettysburg?

"Airbnb" has become a generic term for what the Borough of Gettysburg refers to as "short-term rentals". Advertised on a number of websites including VRBO, HomeAway, Home To Go, and others this category of lodging includes both owner/proprietor-occupied dwellings where a portion of one's personal residence is rented for compensation (homestays) as well as dwellings that are rented out where the owner lives in a separate dwelling unit or offsite (vacation rentals).

In order to legally operate your short-term rental a Land Use Permit and Certificate of Use & Occupancy are required. Please submit the following items either by email to cmarshall@gettysburgpa.gov or by mail/ hand delivery to Borough of Gettysburg Administrative Offices, 59 E. High Street, Gettysburg, PA 17325:

  • Land Use Permit Application
    • $36 application fee via check or money order payable to "Borough of Gettysburg"
    • Please indicate whether the intended use for your short-term rental will be an owner/proprietor-in-residence homestay or a vacation rental where guests stay on their own. Refer to the above guide for definitions.
  • Short Term Rental Application
  • Homestay Residency Certification (if you are proposing to operate a Homestay)
  • Application for Certificate of Use & Occupancy
    • ​​​​​​The Certificate of Use and Occupancy document linked above provides basic information about building code requirements for lodging uses beginning on page 5.  If, after reviewing the document you have questions about the Uniformed Construction Code you may consult our building code contractor PA Municipal Code Alliance using the contact information on the application. 
    • If you are looking for information on whether a building you own or are considering purchasing meets the PA Uniformed Construction Code (UCC) requirements for a lodging use, you will need to submit the Request for Determination in the above-linked packet along with a Land Use application.
    • If you are seeking information on what would be needed to get a building you own or are considering purchasing up to code for a vacation rental use, you will need to consult a design professional.  Neither Borough or PMCA staff have legal authority to act as engineers or architects, and are prohibited by law in engaging in those practices.
  • Zoning Certification Application
    • If you require an official zoning certification about a property’s zoning or permitted uses, for example, if you are looking to sell or purchase a property and want confirmation that it is located in a district that permits Vacation Rentals, you can submit a minor Zoning Certification Application (Fee: $36).

You can determine what zoning district a property is in, and whether that district permits Vacation Rentals by using our Interactive Zoning Map.

Recently adopted Zoning Ordinance revisions related to lodging uses can be found here.

Vacation Rentals in Gettysburg

Questions related to obtaining a Certificate of Use & Occupancy for your short-term rental may be directed to Carly Marshall, Director of Planning, Zoning, and Code Enforcement at cmarshall@gettysburgpa.gov.