Council discusses potential short-term rental rules – LaGrange Daily News

The council is discussing possible short-term rental regulations

Published 9:30 AM Thursday, July 11, 2024

During the LaGrange City Council’s work session on Tuesday, the city discussed a limited list of potential rules for short-term rentals.

The city had previously considered a list of 23 potential regulations sent from the Planning Commission in June, ranging from the number of permits allowed to quiet hours for the rentals. The Planning Board could not then agree on a recommendation, so the matter was tabled.

On Tuesday, City Planner Mark Kostial presented the council with five recommended rules to regulate short-term rentals, which are mostly AirBnBs.

The first proposed ordinance would require all short-term rentals to obtain a special use permit, which in turn would require a public hearing for each new AirBnB location.

“As part of the public hearing, if the neighbors or the residents of the given area were against it, they would have a place to go forward and express their displeasure,” Kostial said.

Kostial said it would also allow the council to impose additional conditions as part of the special use permit approval if necessary.

The second rule would require the owner/applicant to post rental policies in each guest room and they must have a rental agreement readily available on the premises. This would help law enforcement address issues should something occur, Kostial said.

The third rule would require annual fire and building inspections for safety.

The fourth rule would limit the types of housing where short-term vacation rentals are allowed to single-family homes.

“The logic behind it is that short-term rentals tend to create traffic problems, parking problems and other problems,” Kostial said. “If you have a two-family home or a duplex, and only half of it is rented out as a short-term rental, it seems logical that it would create a more significant size problem for the other resident of the duplex. The same goes for townhouses because they share a common wall.”

The rule would also ban short-term rentals in apartments, but they usually already ban subletting.

The final rule would require short-term rental operators to obtain a business license, pay their business tax and register them so the city knows where they are.

Kostial said the five staff-recommended rules must go back to the Planning Commission to make a recommendation. A public hearing would also be needed before they are implemented.

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