City Council To Advance STVR Ordinance For Vote Though "It's Not Perfect"

  • Tuesday, January 31, 2023

The City Council plans to advance an ordinance on Short Term Vacation Rentals for a vote in two weeks, though main sponsor Chip Henderson admitted "it's not perfect."

The move comes despite misgivings by several council members about various parts of the ordinance and concerns by Planning Agency Executive Director Dan Reuter about its effect on local housing stock.

With issues over various parts of the measure, Councilman Henderson at one point said, "I feel like a hand grenade has been thrown and we're all scattering."

The measures leaves four districts still without rentals since their Council members say their residents don't want them.

It sets up a STVR Board, though Council member Carol Berz said, "I still don't know what the board's for."

Jenny Hill, who has been cobbling the ordinance together, said it was decided to have nine members on the board instead of seven. She said five would be named by the mayor and four by the council.

She said it would be "kind of a mediation board."

It would oversee the transfer of STVR permits (certificates) from one person to another, listen to individuals who have been denied permits, and handle disputes between neighbors and operators.

Councilman Henderson said he wanted to see a provision that if four neighbors write letters of complaint about a rental that it would trigger a hearing by the board.

Another section would set up an Administrative Hearing Officer to hear STVR cases, including those involving "illegal" operators. The AHO could assess fines of up to $500 per day.

Councilwoman Berz noted that the city earlier approved the position of AHO. She is asking for a separate ordinance that adds to the AHO duties those of rentals as well as litter issues. That is also to come up in two weeks.

Mr. Reuter said the city and county have a significant shortage of housing stock. He said of those listed as available, that a number of those are sub-standard. "For more safe housing, we need more construction," he said.

He said the housing shortage was "pushing housing further out in the county."

Mr. Reuter said, "As we use more housing stock for rentals there are fewer houses for purchasers."



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