Sevastopol city council is expected to discuss its short-term rental ordinance (STR) for the second time, but will again postpone a decision. The subject reserved for discussion will be on the board’s agenda on Monday, June 21.
Also known as “tourist rooming houses”, DOSs are any residential accommodation offered for rent for less than 29 consecutive days. They must be licensed by the State of Wisconsin and the Door County Tourism Zone Commission. Increasingly, municipalities are adding additional levels of oversight in an effort to avoid issues with sanitary sewer systems, noise, parking and pets.
Sevastopol went further by imposing rental limitations. According to his plan, a landlord could rent the property once every seven days between tenants.
The city brought the order to a public hearing on May 11 and received 33 comments, only 10 of which were in favor of the order. The main reason speakers favored the ordinance was to stem the turnover of passing residents in their residential neighborhoods and to prevent the neighborhoods from becoming quasi-business districts.
The majority who did not support the ordinance were largely, but not exclusively, STR owners. They said limiting the number of tenants they could have in a week would deprive them of income or destroy their livelihoods. Others said they risked losing cottages that have been in their families for generations if the city limits the STR income that pays for the maintenance and taxes on those homes.
At a meeting on May 17, Sevastopol city council discussed the ordinance for the first time since the planning commission issued it, but the council did not change it at all and did not taken no action.
“I still have open issues with the lawyer, so until these are resolved, this will not be referred for action,” City President Dan Woelfel said at the end of this report. May 17th meeting.
This is still where the city remains. Woelfel confirmed on Monday that the topic will be on the June 21 board agenda, but again for discussion only. He said board members are still reviewing the document and consulting with the town’s lawyer.
Members of the non-profit Door County Vacation Rental Association, which formed in response to Sevastopol’s proposed ordinance, told the board at its May 17 meeting that they were ready to take – and have the funds for – legal action, should Sevastopol pass the rental limitation requirement.
City of Liberty Grove on the verge of completing STR ordinance
Sevastopol plans to outsource its ordinance compliance to a company called Granicus which would monitor compliance and rental activity. He has this in common with the city of Liberty Grove, which is also nearing completion with an STR ordinance and could sign a contract with Granicus.
The Liberty Grove and Sevastopol ordinances are similar in their approaches to licensing, wastewater treatment, parking, noise, and emergency contacts. They do differ in one important way, however: The Liberty Grove Project does not regulate how often an STR owner can rent a property.
“We avoided that completely,” said Nancy Goss, chair of the Liberty Grove plan commission.
Goss said if the commission were to impose rent limits, it should do so in all zoning districts rather than just residential areas.
“So if I have a [STR] property in a commercial district, I would feel discriminated against, ”she said.
Even though the rental limitation does not exist in the Liberty Grove ordinance, Goss said the commission expects a pushback from those who do not want any changes. One STR owner, for example, objected to language that subjects STR owners to license revocations due to non-compliant tenant behavior.
“Our thought is that the owner is the ultimate responsible person,” said Goss. “If they have illegal activities or extremely annoying activities, it’s on the owners. We’re not draconian about it; we have a rule of the three warnings. It basically says, “Hey, your tenants fucked up; be more careful in your selections.
Gibraltar city holds STR talks
The City of Gibraltar has organized two Zoom meetings of the Planning Commission – for discussion only – at the request of the City Council. The goal, according to Linda Merline, president of the planning commission, was to learn more about the issue.
Merline said the STR advocates who participated were not in favor of further regulation and that many of them “appeared to be local residents who owned STRs to supplement their income, lived nearby and closely managed their properties. “.
The commission also heard from residents who had many issues with neighboring STRs, Merline said.
“These STRs seemed to have a frequent turnover of unruly guests and no local property officials,” she said. “Neighbors felt that stricter regulations were needed to protect the residential areas of these businesses. “
The city has hired its first director since the talks took place, and Merline said she was not sure what direction that director will take, if any.
“As far as I know, there has been no further discussion or action on STRs,” she said.