Talbot Council to discuss lifting lodging, restaurant restrictions

The Talbot County Council will meet Thursday, May 21, to vote on whether to lift the pandemic-related restrictions on short-term rentals and bed-and-breakfasts operations that have been in effect in the county since March 31.

EASTON — The Talbot County Council will hold a meeting at 10 a.m. Thursday, May 21, to vote on easing short-term rental and bed-and-breakfast limits, and to discuss requesting that Gov. Larry Hogan permit outdoor restaurant seating during Stage One of Maryland’s recovery.

Thursday’s meeting, which was previously unplanned and has been scheduled to urgently address amending the county’s emergency declaration to loosen restrictions on some lodging operations, will be held via public conference call.

Those who wish to comment on the items under consideration before the council votes should call 415-655-0002 or 855-797-9485 toll-free and enter access number 479 194 192 during the meeting. Residents also can submit written comments by email to publiccomment@talbotcounty.gov.

Councilwoman Laura Price said the decision the council makes on short-term rental and B&B restrictions will be effective immediately, meaning if the limits are amended, property operators will be permitted to host guests during the upcoming Memorial Day holiday weekend.

The lodging restrictions were imposed nearly two months ago on March 31, one day after Maryland’s governor issued a statewide stay-at-home order in an effort to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

Price has indicated she will vote in favor of the change, and at least two other council members already have pushed to loosen the county’s pandemic-induced lodging restrictions in previous meetings.

The meeting on Thursday is separate from the council’s regularly scheduled biweekly meetings, the next of which will be held on Tuesday, May 26.

The council’s meetings remain closed to the public for health safety reasons during the COVID-19 pandemic. A livestream of the meeting can be found at https://www.youtube.com/midshorecommunitytelevision.

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