Short-Term Rental Regulation Talks Stall During Brainerd City Council Meeting
Brainerd City Council members opted to table discussion on short-term rentals after speaking with Planning Commission members at Monday’s meeting.
Last month, Planning Commission members recommended the approval of an ordinance that would limit the number of short-term rentals in the city to 20 and limit the number an owner could have to one. However, council members were reluctant to move forward with the proposal.
Before deliberating over alternatives, Community Development Director James Kramvik reiterated a quick overview of the proposed short-term rental ordinance.
“The proposed ordinance … defines it as three types of short-term rentals. VDUs (vacation dwelling units) would be what’s kind of considered recurring short-term rentals which you don’t have to reside on the property, allows you to rent for as many days in the calendar year as possible. The other ones are little more restrictive,” explained Kramvik. “With that, the proposed ordinance also limits the total number of the VDU short-term rentals in the city of Brainerd to 20, 10 of them in traditional neighborhoods, 10 in contemporary neighborhoods. [It] also allows for property owners and companies to only own one VDU in the city.”
Rick Badeaux, who owns three Airbnb properties through Property Logick in the city, stopped by the meeting to voice his concerns. Badeaux said the proposed change would affect the affordable rent he’s able to offer long-term tenants. It’s something that’s something Mayor Dave Badeaux also touched on, stating that one short-term rental per owner seems too restrictive.
“When people come in to run convenience stores now you don’t purchase one convenience store, you purchase three convenience stores, because it’s a better way of operating that style of business,” said Mayor Badeaux. “The issue with a lot of these rentals that I’m finding when looking through it is now the cleaning fee is half, if not just as much as the actual rental itself, which is because the person running it then has to pay to have it cleaned, which it seems like from a business model standpoint, if we’re trying to just limit the number of them, then one is the solution. But if we’re trying to have ones that are operated effectively, I would be more open to more than one.”
Finding a balance between maintaining affordable workforce housing stock and supporting good property owners seems to be at the crux of the issue regarding short-term rentals in Brainerd. One suggestion Council Member Jeff Czeczok agreed with Rick Badeaux on is grandfathering in existing property owners.
Always – I shouldn’t say always, but more often than not there is a grandfather process and we can work out ordinance language to accommodate for that,” said Czeczok. “I think it’s just incumbent on us to let, you know, let people do their business.”
Council members voted unanimously to send the ordinance back to the Planning Commission for further review.