ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

First reading approved for new short-term rental ordinance in Detroit Lakes; licensing could begin in 2023

Members of the Detroit Lakes City Council unanimously voted to adopt first reading of a new short-term rental ordinance during their Nov. 7 meeting. If the ordinance passes a second vote in December, city-issued licenses will be required for property owners in order to list their units for a short-term rental of less than 30 consecutive days. The license must be renewed annually and would include a fee of $350.

IMG_3209 (2).JPG
Members of the Detroit Lakes City Council hold a regular meeting on Nov. 7, 2022.
Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune
We are part of The Trust Project.

DETROIT LAKES — Owners of Detroit Lakes' short-term rentals may soon need to apply for annual licenses after the Detroit Lakes City Council passed the first reading of a new short-term rental ordinance during their Nov. 7 meeting.

If the ordinance receives final approval during the council's Dec. 13 meeting, city-issued short-term rental licenses would be required for any short-term rental property of less than 30 consecutive days within the city limits. Any previous conditional-use permit holders for short-term rentals would also need to re-apply for a rental license.

"Instead of requiring conditional-use permits, we will now license short-term rentals annually," said Larry Remmen, community development director for Detroit Lakes, during the meeting. "This would also apply to those properties that have already obtained a conditional-use permit, they will now be required to get and have a license as well."

The licenses would need to be renewed annually and include a fee of $350. The license holder would also need to continue paying the city's lodging tax, like the hotels located within the city limits.

The new licensing system would also make the short-term rental process more administrative, Remmen said, and would eliminate the need for the owners of the short-term rental properties to apply for conditional-use permits, which need to pass through various committees and need approval from the city council. The program would also include provisions for revocation and denial of licenses based on a "three strike" rule.

ADVERTISEMENT

License holders would also need to specify which of the three types of short-term rental the license is for. The three types of new short-term rental licenses are:

  • Hosted short-term rental: A dwelling unit that is offered to transient guests for a period of less than 30 consecutive days, where a primary resident of the property is present while the transient guests are present.
  • Un-hosted short-term rental: A dwelling unit that is offered to transient guests for a period of less than 30 consecutive days, where the property serves as a person’s primary residence but a primary resident of the property is not present while the transient guests are present.
  • Dedicated short-term rental: A dwelling unit that is offered to transient guests for a period of less than 30 consecutive days, where the property does not serve as a person’s primary residence.

The new ordinance also limits the number of licenses Detroit Lakes can issue to 100 in a calendar year.
"This actually helps city staff," said Dan Josephson, alderman third ward and the chair of the city's community development committee. "They can then, revoke these licenses without having to go through a formal process. If we get complaints, and they are charged with (violations) we can either not renew it the following year, or we can revoke the license."

"Disorderly conduct is prohibited at short-term rentals," the ordinance states. It also states that instances of disorderly conduct may include, but are not limited to:

  • Gambling.
  • Prostitution, or acts related to prostitution.
  • Unlawful sale of, or possession of controlled substances.
  • Unlawful sale of alcoholic beverages.
  • Underage consumption.
  • Property damage.
  • Unlawful possession, transportation, sale, use of a weapon.
  • Disorderly conduct, when the violation disturbs the peace and quiet of the other occupants of the permitted premises, or other surrounding premises.
  • Unlawful sale of, or possession of small amounts of marijuana.
  • Unlawful possession, or use of drug paraphernalia.
  • Public nuisances.
  • Nuisance noise.
  • Recreational fires with natural wood no larger than 9 square feet, conditions permitting.
  • No exploding fireworks.

A fine schedule for license violations is also included in the new ordinance. Each violation would be considered a misdemeanor with fines ranging from $250 for the first offense to $750 for a third violation within one year of the previous two violations. A short-term rental license would be revoked after the third violation and the applicant would be unable to apply for another license for one full year.
Remmen also said the new ordinance will help provide administrative oversight to the city's short-term rental market and not require the permanence of a conditional-use permit, which becomes attached to the property without conditions.

Related Topics: DETROIT LAKESBECKER COUNTYDETROIT LAKES CITY COUNCILGOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
Lead Multimedia Reporter for the Detroit Lakes Tribune and the Perham Focus.
What To Read Next
Detroit Lakes' annual Polar Fest celebration gets underway on Friday, Feb. 10, continuing through Sunday, Feb. 26. In between, more than 50 events are planned.
All the upcoming events and gatherings in the Detroit Lakes area.
A woman reported that she had been sexually assaulted the night before at her home in Detroit Lakes and sought medical attention the following day from injuries sustained during the attack.
Ice roads and ice shack rentals brought to Detroit Lakes by Quality Baits and friends