Minocqua authorizes the first short-term rental in a single-family residential area



MINOCQUA – Bending to a new state mandate, the Minocqua Planning Commission approved the first short-term rental in a single-family residential neighborhood, which Oneida County had previously declared prohibited for less than 30 rental days .

The 2017 state budget signed by Governor Scott Walker contained a last minute provision (Bill 59) that replaces this restriction and others like it statewide. From now on, municipalities can only prohibit short-term rentals of less than seven days, regardless of the zoned area. The impact could be considerable in northern Wisconsin where there are a large number of second homes in single-family residential neighborhoods, especially along the lakes, that could be rented out on a short-term basis. The Wisconsin Realtors Association backed the measure, saying short-term rentals allow owners in the second home real estate market to profit from their investments. The association said there is an increasing demand for 1 and 2 week rentals in this segment of the real estate market.

But city president Mark Hartzheim was not happy with the loss of the county’s zoning authority. (Minocqua does not have its own zoning and falls under the county code.) He said Law 59 means owners of a single-family residential neighborhood would no longer enjoy full enjoyment of that neighborhood. Neighbors also cannot ask their local representatives to refuse the requested Administrative Review Permit (ARP). “I think that’s the struggle we have with that. . . Did the state take that away from the neighbors, ”said the city president. “They said, ‘Your opinion doesn’t matter anymore. You bought a home in a single-family residential zoning in the hopes that you could live there year-round as your primary residence and enjoy some level of peace, quiet, and fun. We take it away from you because we believe people should be able to do whatever they want with their property. “I don’t agree with that because they are removing the only zoning classification where people can expect to be able to use it as a single family residence. There are other neighborhoods that allow short term rentals. It will change the complexion of these neighborhoods.

Hartzheim said short-term tenants are likely to be louder and louder than long-term tenants who want to keep their landlords happy – and their leases intact – by not causing problems. “I’m worried about the guy who doesn’t care,” Hartzheim said. “A one-week client is very different from a long-time client. ARP claimant William Pritchard said he understood the concerns, but promised to keep his short-term tenants to the same high standards he demanded from his previous tenants of 30 days or more. . This home at 9145 Point Drive in Minocqua has been rented seasonally and annually for 10 years, he noted, without any complaints from neighbors. Commissioners said their concerns did not necessarily reflect Pritchard’s request. Commissioners were more concerned with how to manage the expected influx of short-term rental applications and their impact on neighborhoods.

To that end, the city is asking City Attorney Greg Harrold to draft a new ordinance that will be passed at the January 16 city council meeting. This ordinance would ban rentals of six days or less in a single-family residential neighborhood, require a local permit (initial and annual), the collection and remittance of the 4% local room tax to the city treasurer, as well as stipulations on parking spaces. and location of bins. Airbnb, a popular accommodation marketplace, has entered into an agreement with the Wisconsin Department of Revenue to collect and remit the state-administered accommodation taxes. Airbnb will collect state and county sales taxes, as well as the first resort tax (PRAT). Eagle River and Rhinelander both have PRATs. Harrold said the new law means landlords who secretly rent weekends in single-family residential neighborhoods and dodge collecting room taxes will be a surprise. “Everyone has a story or two they can tell about the people who rent out their residence in a single-family residential area each week,” he said. “They did not collect tax on the rooms. They have not been inspected. So now it’s going to bring some more attention to those areas, and there’s going to be a mechanism here to regulate them and charge a fee from them. The commission agreed that the new ordinance should be retroactive to Pritchard’s PRA and all others that are approved prior to its passage.

The county plans to enact similar restrictions of six days or less and will require an annual health inspection, as well as a review of the septic system if it does not affect municipal sewers and water, the zoning administrator said. Karl Jennrich. In addition, the owner or agent will need to obtain a tourist rooming house license from the Ministry of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. Each rental property should have a sign posted inside the listing for contact information in case of complaints or issues. In addition, an annual fire inspection would ensure that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and extinguishers are in good working order. Law 59 allows municipalities to set a maximum of 180 days in a period of 365 consecutive days for short-term rentals on a single property, but Hartzheim said the city would not be interested in that authority.

Newly installed commissioner Brian Fricke, who voted the only ‘no’, hinted at the proliferation of homeowner-installed buoys that popped up on the Minocqua chain of lakes last year, and s’ is asked if this did not presage a similar eruption of rental signs. up and down the lake. Jennrich said he would look into the matter. “There is no need for these lakeside signs,” he said, expressing a personal opinion. Fricke also questioned whether such tourist accommodation facilities should comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. No one had a ready answer for that one.


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