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

Council discusses potential short-term rental legislation

Posted 9:30 am on Thursday, July 11, 2024

During Tuesday’s LaGrange City Council work session, city officials discussed a narrowed list of potential regulations for short-term rentals.

The city previously considered a list of 23 potential regulations that were submitted by the planning commission in June, ranging from the number of permits allowed to quiet hours for renters. The planning board was unable to reach a consensus on a recommendation at the time, so the issue was shelved.

On Tuesday, city planner Mark Kostial presented the council with five recommended rules to regulate short-term rentals, most often through the AirBnB service.

The first proposed rule would require all short-term rental units to obtain a special use permit, which would require a public hearing for each new AirBnB location.

“If neighbors or residents of a given area object to this through a public hearing, they will have the opportunity to express their dissatisfaction,” Kostial said.

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

The second rule would require the landlord/applicant to post the rental policy in each guest room and have the lease readily available on the premises. That would help law enforcement deal with problems if they arise, Kostial said.

The third rule will require annual fire and building safety inspections.

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

“The logic behind it is that short-term rentals tend to create traffic problems, parking problems and other issues,” Kostial said. “If you have a two-family home or a duplex and only half of it is rented as a short-term rental, it makes sense that that would create larger-scale issues for the other resident of the duplex. The same is true for townhouses because they share a common wall.”

The regulations would also prohibit short-term rentals of apartments, but generally prohibit subletting.

The final version of the legislation will require short-term rental operators to obtain a business license, pay business tax and register so the city knows where they are based.

Kostial said the five policies recommended by staff would need to go back to the planning commission for a recommendation. A public hearing would also be required before they could be implemented.