Short-term rental ordinance back before Inver Grove Heights council

The Inver Grove Heights City Council has been discussing how to regulate short-term rentals through services like Airbnb for some two years.

On Jan. 28, the council approved the first reading of an ordinance to allow for transient lodging, otherwise known as short-term rentals, as an interim use on residential properties. 

Heather Botten, an associate planner with the city, said discussions of transient lodging began a couple years ago.

“Originally there was an ordinance presented to you guys to prohibit transient lodging,” she said.

At that ordinance’s third reading, the council reversed its decision and last summer gave direction to city staff to look for ways to permit short-term rentals.

In the new ordinance, transient lodging is defined as “letting or leasing of a property for less than 30 consecutive days.”

Botten said if anyone wanted to rent their property to a single renter for longer than that 30-day period, the owner would have to comply with the standard rental license section of city code. 

An interim use is a temporary use of a property until a certain date or occurrence of an event. Botten said a separate interim use permit would be required for each property owner who is interested in short-term rentals of their property. 

“This permit process would include a public hearing. It would include neighborhood notification, and it would allow the city to apply specific conditions to that specific property when [renters] were coming through the property,” Botten said. 

The proposed permit fee is $296. City staff provided the council a list of nine conditions that would apply for all short-term rentals, including a formula for the number of renters allowed and off-street parking spaces required for each applicant. Each interim use permit would be valid for two years from the approval date, and Botten said there’d be some flexibility when it came time for renewal.

The city Planning Commission held a public hearing Dec. 18 on the ordinance and recommended its approval.

Mayor George Tourville said he’d like to get more feedback on the proposed ordinance by placing news about it in the city newsletter. Other council members said they’d also like to hear from folks who live near short-term rentals.

Tourville said the council could wait to hear more from residents because the city isn’t in a “period of crisis” regarding such rentals. No date was set for the second reading of the ordinance.

 

—Hannah Burlingame

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