Rockland's mayor said it is time to look at whether there should be limits on the number of short-term rentals by neighborhoods.

This comes at the close of the first full year of the city's requiring permits from owners of homes or rooms in homes that are rented for less than a month.

The city has issued permits for 61 short-term rentals. Twenty-nine of those permitted properties are owned by people who live outside of Rockland.

The City Council adopted an ordinance in April 2016 that regulates short-term rentals. The ordinance was largely watered down from earlier versions that included mandatory inspections. The law that was approved requires people to receive permits from the Code Enforcement Office.

Property owners renting an entire house, an entire duplex in which the owner does not live, or three or more units of a multi-unit building must also receive approval from the Rockland Planning Board.

The Code Office initially sent out letters in the fall of 2016 to the owners of 71 properties that had advertised short-term rentals on online sites.

A review of the existing 61 permits shows that the greatest concentration is in the South End of Rockland. Twenty-two of the permitted locations are located south of Park Street and 14 are in the South End neighborhood bordered by Main Street to the west and Water Street to the north.

Rockland Mayor Valli Geiger said when the council debated short-term rentals, there was a promise that requiring permits would be the first step and the second step would be to look at whether limits were needed.

"I think it’s time," Geiger said Sunday, Dec. 17, in response to a question from the newspaper.

While the greatest concentration is the South End, there are short-term rentals throughout the city, ranging from Sunrise Terrace atop Dodge Mountain to  Samoset Road.

During the 15 months in which city officials debated the municipal ordinance, the concern was that an increase in whole houses or multiple units in an apartment building being rented short term would reduce the amount of long-term rentals available for the local workforce.

Lack of affordable housing has repeatedly been cited by municipal leaders as one of the most pressing issues in the community.

There was also concern that having a larger share of the housing stock in a neighborhood used by people staying a few days at a time would harm the fabric of the community.

Of the 61 permits issued by the city, 31 are whole houses being rented short term and seven are duplexes in which the owner does not live.

In places where the owner lives out of the region, there is a requirement that a local contact person be available.