Two Public Hearings Set for Short-Term Rentals in Stillwater

Downtown Stillwater — Photo by Tom Wieland via Pictures of Stillwater Facebook group

The Stillwater Planning Commission is hosting a public hearing next week to gather feedback about a proposed ordinance to allow, and regulate, short-term home rentals in town.

The public hearing will begin at 7 p.m., Wednesday, March 8 at Stillwater City Hall. The city council will consider the same proposal during a public hearing at 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 21 at City Hall.

If you cannot attend either public hearing, but would still like to participate in the process, you may submit written comments to Community Development Director Bill Turnblad via email at bturnblad@ci.stillwater.mn.us.

The proposed ordinance hearing is a response to the popularity of websites such as Airbnb, HomeAway and VRBO that enable property owners to rent out space in their home on a short-term basis.

While Stillwater has plenty of rooms and homes available for short-term rental through the websites, the practice is not allowed under current city code.

The council would like to allow short-term rentals in Stillwater, but aims to pass an ordinance that will also regulate short-term rentals in an attempt to avoid problems in the future.

According to the results of a community survey about short-term rentals, 80 percent of those who responded were in favor of allowing short-term rentals.

The proposed short-term rental ordinance aims to:

  • Limit the number of short-term rentals allowed in the city through a permit process;
  • Include a complaint clause that may impact permitting a short-term rental property;
  • Limit the number of times a home could be rented out in a year;
  • Definitions of short-term rentals, differentiate from B&Bs and hotels
  • Owner occupied vs. non-owner occupied model
  • Lodging tax rates for short-term rentals
  • Performance Standards — parking spaces, number of occupants, inspection requirements, etc.
  • Where would short-term rentals be allowed

Stillwater Short Term Rental Documents

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