Roseville regulates short-term rentals; extends minimum stays and requires licensing

Short-term rental property owners in Roseville will no longer be able to host weekend guests and will be required to have a license to operate.

The City Council adopted the new ordinance, and updated another Monday night in response to neighbor complaints of rowdy parties, indecent exposure and roads lined with cars at some lakeside house rentals over the summer.

Neighbors cheered the changes, but others said the regulations on Airbnb and other short-term rental are burdensome for those needing to supplement their incomes and don’t take into account weekend events that draw tourists.

The mayor and four-member council voted unanimously in favor, each saying they felt the changes were a fitting compromise to the numerous opinions offered by residents during the six-month conversation.

“A number of people wanted us to ban them all together,” Council Member Julie Strahan said. “I think we have more power if we permit them and we have regulation around them.”

Here is a summary of the new regulations:

  • There are now different minimum stays for on-season rentals and off-season rentals. For off-season (Oct. 1-May 1), there is a minimum stay of seven days. For on-season (May 1-Oct. 1) there is a minimum stay of 10 days.
  • A short-term rental license fee is $515.
  • After two violations within 180 days, the city will suspend the rental license.
  • If an owner/operator is caught renting without a license, they will have to wait 90 days before renting again.
  • The owner must post the license, and noise and parking ordinances on the property.
  • The city manager can deny a short-term rental license if the property in question has been issued fines for repeat nuisance violations.
  • The city manager can suspend a short-term rental license for a single violation that the police chief deems a threat to public safety.
  • If the license has been suspended, the owner must submit a plan outlining policies and procedures to prevent further violations.
  • Once a license has been revoked, new ownership cannot consist of a family member of the prior owner or an entity affiliated with the prior owner

Many of the complaints have come from neighbors living on McCarrons Lake or on Gluek Lane.

Frank Hess, who has lived on the lake since 1977, said 2020 was the worst. The increase in issues with the rentals could be due to COVID-19 restrictions, which sent large parties looking elsewhere to gather and homeowners looking for a side hustle to help them recoup financial losses. Hess described seeing drug use, unattended fires, vulgarities, etc.

“It’s really difficult living next to one of these,” he said. “Having new neighbors all the time and kind of making our area become almost like a resort.”

Simon Opatz, the government affairs director for the St. Paul Area Association of Realtors, said Roseville’s restrictions go too far.

“Among the core rights that a property owner has is the right to lease or rent the property,” he said. “The short-term rental market in the city of Roseville permits citizens of Roseville to realize a stream of income — especially important during recession or economic downturns.”

He said an outright ban on short-term rentals under seven days may impact financially burdened homeowners or impact decisions on homeownership, and that seasonal rules would complicate enforcement.

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