Short-term rentals on the county’s radar for Tuesday’s meeting

BEMIDJI – The Beltrami County Council of Commissioners will discuss options related to short-term rental rules on Tuesday.

During its working session, the council will benefit from a presentation by the office of the departmental assessor and the environmental services directorate on the subject. According to county documents, several complaints have been filed regarding short-term rental properties in the county.

Rentals include houses and parts of houses rented for a period of less than 30 days. They are commonly called Airbnbs or VRBO (Vacation Rental by Owner) in reference to two companies that support owners in the rental of their accommodation.

In 2018, the Greater Bemidji Region Joint Planning Council voted to ban short-term vacation rentals in the city and northern township. The move was based on the concerns and complaints of neighbors.

Four existing short-term rentals in the jurisdiction of the JPB benefited from acquired rights under the language of the ordinance which prohibited future rentals. On Tuesday, commissioners will consider what other local governments have done and what options are available to the county.

Later in the meeting, the Office of Natural Resource Management will discuss the future of a 230-acre parcel of land that will not be taxable. A proposal was made to make the land a recreation area.

The land, located in the town of Wilton, as well as the townships of Grant Valley and Eckles, would have the following rules:

  • The park’s hours of operation would be sunrise to sunset for daytime use, with no overnight camping.
  • No target shooting.
  • It would be open to hunting, but only portable deer are allowed.
  • All waste must be removed and disposed of by users.
  • No one will operate a motor vehicle or snowmobile in areas designated as non-motorized.
  • Animals will be personally taken care of at all times.
  • The area would be governed by forest management under Beltrami County Parks and Recreation.

The council will also hear updates on the Beltrami County Historical Society and the Department of Public Health. The county working session begins at 3 p.m. and can be viewed on YouTube.

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