After longstanding complaints from local residents about so-called "party houses," the City of Roseville has taken steps to regulate short-term rentals such as those arranged through sites like Airbnb and VRBO.
The City Council met on Monday and agreed to impose a series of restrictions on non-owner-occupied short-term rentals following complaints about parties being held on one-night or weekend stays.
Under the new rules, which were passed on a 5-0 vote, owners who rent out their properties for short-term stays must now be licensed and pay the city's lodging tax, and the minimum stay in homes where the owner is not present will be 10 days from May to September, and seven days between October and April.
The new rules also include punishments for violations relating to noise, parking, and anti-social behavior, with homeowners potentially having their short-term rental licenses suspended if there are two violations within a 180-day period.
The meeting heard from several local residents who have been impacted by short-term rentals, many of them living alongside McCarrons Lake, and they were calling for either greater lengths of minimum stays – potentially 14 days – or abolishing short-term rentals altogether.
One of these homeowners, Frank Hess, told the meeting: "It's really difficult living next to one of these, and I don't think you can appreciate how bad it is [living next to one], having new neighbors all the time, and kind of making our area almost become like a resort."
Opposition to the restrictions came from Simon Opatz, of the St. Paul Area Realtors Association, who said that the problems in Roseville stem from a small number of homes, and that he doesn't think that "a couple of problem properties justify punishing homeowners operating short-term rentals without any complaints."
"Allowing weekend rentals will allow economic stimulus in your city," he said. "Roseville is in prime position to capitalize on overflow from events in the Twin Cities."
Another homeowner, Renee Pardello, however said if Roseville was truly seeking to make itself a tourist destination like Brainerd or Duluth, it should develop a formal plan to achieve that.
The council ultimately agreed to a compromise that would make neither side completely satisfied, imposing restrictions on non-owner-occupied short-term rentals, but not to the extent requested by locals complaining about "party houses."
"A number of people wanted us to outlaw them all together," said Councilor Julie Strahan, adding: "I think we have more power if we permit them and have regulation around them."