New ordinance in effect for owners of short-term rentals

Owners of properties available for vacation and short-term rental must now register with the City and abide by an ordinance which will regulate their use in residential areas.

The Clear Lake City Council unanimously passed the third and final reading of an ordinance which establishes guidelines for rental properties with a goal of protecting the character of neighborhoods and lessening the physical impacts of short-term rentals.  With the publication of the ordinance in this edition of the Mirror-Reporter (page 12) the ordinance is now in effect.

City Administrator Scott Flory said the City plans to send letters and permit applications, along with a copy of the ordinance, to property owners who are known and registered with the State.  He noted the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce has an inventory of rental properties it will share with the City.

Those who want to register their properties may also contact the city’s building official, Mike Ritter, for details at  mritter@cityofclearlake.com.  City officials note it is the property owners’ responsibility to have a permit.

Under the new regulations, a permit, valid for one-year at a cost of $150, will be required.  In addition, a  property manager must also be designated as responsible for overseeing the vacation rental.  The property manager may be the owner or an agent of the owner and must reside within 80 miles of the city limits.   A separate “contact person” could be named who would be available during the term of any rental, and who may be contacted 24-hours a day if there is an issue or problem.

Suggested occupancy for rentals has been defined as:  A single bedroom home would have

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