Chamberlain Passes Residential Vrbo, AirBnB Ban, Will Accept Exemptions Until Dec 31

Nov 9 – CHAMBERLAIN – The Town of Chamberlain passed an ordinance essentially banning the future use of certain residential properties as short-term vacation rentals – but city officials are granting residents who apply for an exemption until the new year to apply .

The City of Chamberlain Commission passed an ordinance on November 1 prohibiting the “transitional commercial use” of residential properties in low and medium density residential areas. The ordinance prohibits homes in these areas from operating as an accommodation facility for tenants or guests who plan to stay for less than 30 days.

After hearing public comment during the order’s two readings – the first of which took place on October 18 – the commissioners approved a motion allowing transitional housing properties currently in operation to apply for a conditional use permit until ‘on December 31.

City officials initially pitched the ordinance as a potential mitigation measure for Chamberlain’s housing shortage.

“We are currently in an incredible housing crisis and family homes are very difficult to find,” Chamberlain Mayor Chad Mutziger said in October. “Everyone who is taken care of by a VRBO takes away family accommodation.”

Local real estate agent and vacation home owner Karri Swenson opened the second reading for public debate against Mutziger’s theory. She pointed out that she knows eight houses for sale in Chamberlain, and she believes the city needs more entry-level housing.

Mike Wise, who moved to the area in 2015, told the commission he spent six months trying to find a home in Chamberlain and didn’t understand why the commission was only now dealing with rentals short term.

“(Wise) asked why the city now recognizes these rentals,” read the November 1 meeting minutes. “He said the city is barking the wrong tree with this transitional housing and that it will not solve the housing shortage by canceling a few VRBOs.”

According to Wise, the city has a new development with housing lots available.

Commissioner Hannah Ruhlman said the commission did not disagree with the economic value of the rentals, but noted that the city’s biggest problem with the ordinance was “adjusting the housing shortage.” Mutziger added that Chamberlain’s employers said they were struggling to convert applicants to employees because they couldn’t find housing.

The way the ordinance was drafted does not outright ban short-term rentals in the city – rather it strengthens the city’s zoning laws to keep residential neighborhoods a place for residents rather than locals. tourists.

“That’s why we have zoning, if we didn’t have zoning you could have a hotel next to you,” Ruhlman said. “In a residential space, we want residential homes, and in a commercial space, you can have a VRBO or a hotel, and there’s a place in the community for that.”

Chamberlain Proposed Ordinance, October 18, 2021 by inforumdocs on Scribd

After members of the public, during the first reading of the ordinance, asked for an exemption for periods of high traffic for the city – like July 4 and hunting openings – Mutziger turned the conversation to the exemptions. He said he received several calls from short-term rentals requesting conditional use permits. He suggested an effective date of January 1, 2022.

The commission finally approved the ordinance, which entered into force at the dawn of the new year, with a clause requiring an impact assessment on November 1, 2022.

Mike Lauritsen, city administrator, told the Mitchell Republic that the Jan. 1 effective date was implemented as a compromise for those seeking a July 4 exemption and openers.

He said anyone who receives a conditional use permit by that date would be able to operate year round, and believes that two months is enough time for interested owners to apply to the city.

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