The city of Roseville will restrict short-term rentals after party houses riled neighbors, who complained of loud music, excessive traffic and a "nonstop party atmosphere."
The City Council voted 5-0 Monday to license short-term rentals — which are booked through websites like Airbnb and Vrbo — and require minimum stays when the property owner does not live onsite. The goal is to stop one-night and weekend party rentals.
How to regulate short-term rentals has sparked months of intense debate in the Ramsey County suburb, with some neighbors saying the rentals — including one owned by a state lawmaker — are ruining their quality of life and should be severely limited or banned. Short-term rental operators pushed back, saying restrictions will hurt their businesses and infringe on their property rights.
Before the vote, council members acknowledged that their decision would probably leave both sides unsatisfied, but that was the fairest solution.
"A number of people wanted us to outlaw them all together," said Council Member Julie Strahan. "I think we have more power if we permit them and have regulation around them."
The minimum stay permitted will be 10 days from May through September, and seven days for the rest of the year. The new rules also allow the city to suspend licenses for violations including illegal behavior as well as noise, parking and nuisance violations. Short-term rentals will also be subject to the city's lodging tax, which hotels are required to pay.
"We are in a pretty good spot. Some people want more and some people want less," said Council Member Jason Etten. "For me, the most important parts are the stiff penalties," referring to the licensing requirements and suspension mechanisms.
Roseville residents have complained that some single-family home rentals, including two on Lake McCarrons, created a party atmosphere that at times spilled outside with drinking games, marijuana use, sexual activity and never-ending campfires.
Sen. John Marty, D-Roseville, and his wife, Connie, own one of those rental homes. In a previous interview, John Marty acknowledged some mishaps last summer but said they want to be good neighbors and will abide by the city's rules. Marty said he and his wife have intentionally not taken part in the city discussion because they don't want to be viewed as unduly influencing city leaders.
About a dozen people made comments Monday before the council vote.
Simon Opatz, government affairs director at the St. Paul Area Association of Realtors, implored the council not to require minimum stays, saying it would impede property rights.
Folks who lived near rentals said the city wasn't going far enough.
"If you live next to one of these, it probably hurts your property values," said Frank Hess, who lives on Lake McCarrons and asked for longer required stays.
Other suburban communities, as well as the city of Minneapolis, are also tightening their rules. Prior Lake banned any new short-term rentals last year after they, too, had trouble with party houses.
Shannon Prather • 651-925-5037