City reviews Airbnbs regulations after Lake Mitchell resident warned for renting out his home – Mitchell Republic

MITCHELL — After discovering that a local landlord has opened up his Lake Mitchell home for Airbnb stays in a prohibited neighborhood, city officials are reviewing how it regulates trendy online rentals.

While the city allows Airbnb-style rentals in certain areas of Mitchell, city planner Mark Jenniges said Lake Mitchell is not one of them. The recent incident with Boyd Reimnitz

Lake Mitchell property used as Airbnb

This prompted Jenniges and city leaders to discuss the city ordinance and consider potential changes.

“We’ve had a few people call and send letters about their concerns about their lakeside home (in Reimnitz) being used for Airbnb. But it’s a growing trend, so we felt it was time to have a deeper discussion about it,” Jenniges said.

Airbnb and VRBO are some of the online marketplaces that people can use to rent a house or property for short stays. Over the past few months, the Airbnb market has started to take off for Reimnitz’s Mid-Dakota properties. But the company must now review which properties it can open to tenants to comply with the city’s order after learning of the city’s regulations two weeks ago.

The City of Mitchell sent a warning letter to Mid-Dakota Properties regarding the use of the home. Reimnitz and her daughter, Destiny, who helps run the business, each declined to comment on the matter.

In a recent interview with the Mitchell Republic, Destiny Reimnitz said the opening of some of the Mitchell rental properties she manages has also provided a way to monetize vacant rental units and help temporary workers stay in Mitchell. .

The city’s ordinance for Airbnb-like accommodations prohibits any home in the Residential Lake (RL), Residential 1 (R-1), and Residential 5 (R-5) zoning districts from being used for rental.

However, the city ordinance allows Airbnb and VRBO-style accommodations in single-family and two-family Residential 2 (R-2) and Residential 3 (R-3) zoning neighborhoods, if owners obtain a use permit. parole from the town of Mitchell. Advice.

The only zoning neighborhood the city allows for Airbnb and VRBO type accommodations is Residential Neighborhood 4 (R-4), which consists of multi-family dwellings that can house up to 24 units like an apartment complex.

During the May 9 Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, Jenniges offered the panel an opportunity to discuss the city’s ordinance regulating these properties. Jenniges pointed to how several other cities in the state regulate the Airbnb and VRBO industry for the Planning Commission to get a comparison of how Mitchell’s ordinance differs from other municipalities.

“Every city is a little different with how they regulate Airbnbs. In Sioux Falls they allow them anywhere from what I can see,” Jenniges said.

While the city of Sioux Falls has far fewer regulations on Airbnb-type lodging, Chamberlain recently took the opposite direction by passing an ordinance that prohibits Airbnb lodging in any residential area for guests who plan to stay there less. 30 days.

The Chamberlain City Commission’s recent decision to ban Airbnb and VRBO lodging in residential areas was a response to a recent influx of people buying properties in the small Missouri River town solely for the purpose of using them for Airbnb and VRBO stays.

With a lack of accommodation options available in Chamberlain,

Chamberlain Mayor Chad Mutziger said people who buy residential homes for the sole purpose of using them for Airbnb and VRBO

the housing compounded the community’s “housing crisis”.

To avoid a problem similar to that faced by Chamberlain, Jenniges said Mitchell City Council could require any property intended for Airbnb use to be owner-occupied.

“There could also be adjustments to the ordinance that require any property intended to be used for Airbnbs to be owner-occupied. That would mean someone can’t just walk in and buy all these properties in residential areas and not live there and use them for Airbnb and VRBO,” Jenniges said.

Push back restrictions

Matt Doerr, a local accountant and entrepreneur, encouraged the Planning and Zoning Commission to “look at the big picture” around the Airbnb and VRBO industry.

Doerr said Airbnb’s emerging industry has helped some vacant and aging homes become livable again.

“I understand that these restrictions and zoning are in place for a reason, but I think often we don’t think about all the ramifications of some of these regulations,” Doerr said, speaking to the committee. “For example, in Chamberlain, let’s say an investor looking to do Airbnbs comes in and improves the house and keeps it from being vacant. As long as it’s well managed and maintained, it should be a win-win situation for the house. home and community.”

Doerr pointed to the imposition of more Airbnb industry restrictions on Mitchell as a move that could impact sales tax revenue.

“These families who almost always stay at Airbnbs, eat and shop at our local stores. Those sales tax dollars could disappear if we deter Airbnbs,” he said.

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