The Clear Lake City Council approved the first reading of an ordinance Monday night which will regulate the operation of vacation and short term rentals.
Two weeks ago City Administrator Scott Flory introduced the concept of establishing rules for those who rent their residential properties for short stays. Flory told the Council that as the popularity of vacation rentals grows, regulation is needed to protect the character of neighborhoods and lessen physical impacts of the practice. He noted that the topic has generated the most unsolicited comments from the public in his 16 years on the job.
Flory said the proposed ordinance addresses four main issues. They are: overcrowding, excessive on-street parking, noise and garbage.
“These are the things I have heard over and over again,” he said, calling the ordinance a “citizen initiated matter.” He described the proposed ordinance as long overdue and striking an appropriate balance.
Council members, who voted 5-0 in favor, asked Flory to clarify that the ordinance only applies to rentals in areas of the community zoned as residential.
City Building Official Mike Ritter said he has also received numerous comments about the need for such an ordinance. He noted the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission voted 5-0 in favor of the measure.
City Attorney John Sorensen told the Council the proposed ordinance is compliant with state and federal guidelines, in his opinion.
The proposed ordinance would require