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Creve Coeur to study how to regulate short-term rentals

Creve Coeur to study how to regulate short-term rentals

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CREVE COEUR • Creve Coeur's Planning & Zoning Commission will hold a public hearing as early as January and later recommend how the city should regulate short-term rentals of homes.

At its meeting on Monday, the council agreed to start the process to devise such regulations.

The council had discussed short-term rentals and their impacts on residential neighborhoods in August 2017 and, at that time, determined that action was not needed and that the city should simply continue to monitor the rentals.

But Jason Jaggi, the city's director of community development, told the council, in a memo that more St. Louis County communities have enacted ordinances to regulate and in some cases ban short-term rentals.

He wrote that, based on periodic checks of the Airbnb website over the past year, the listings for properties within Creve Coeur remain relatively low with generally three to five appearing on the site at any given time.

However, he added there was a notable spike in listings associated with the PGA Championship held in August, and some of those listings appear to remain on the Airbnb website.

Jaggi also told the council that Chesterfield, Clayton, Ladue, Frontenac and Hazelwood have banned use of short-term rentals, although he said a recent check on the Airbnb website showed postings from some of these cities. He wrote that Maplewood, Webster Groves, Ellisville and Ballwin allow them with restrictions.

He recommended the city proceed with establishing its own regulations. He said he leaned toward the city setting up an administrative permit and specific requirements.

Jaggi suggested requirements could include, for instance, that the homeowner must be present in the home at all times that the renters are there; restricting the number of rooms that can be rented out to perhaps no more than two; all parking associated with the use be provided on the driveway or within a garage and not on the street; and a penalty provision that would allow the city to revoke the permit after two violations.

On Monday, Mark Doyle, of Ladue Air Estates subdivision, told the council that his neighborhood had complained about a short-term rental use, and “this is likely going on more than we realize.”

Short-term rentals are generally defined as the offering of a dwelling for rent to one or more guests for less than 30 days.

Police Chief Glenn Eidman said he was aware of less than five complaints, such as on parties and parking concerns, with regard to such rentals in the last year. He added that, since the city doesn't regulate short-term rentals, there was nothing he could do to enforce any law.

Also on Monday night, the council approved allowing the city to purchase and install Little Free Libraries — boxes installed in a public space that hold books for those of all ages and allow people to freely drop off books inside or take books with them — at the city's Millennium Park on the west end of the city and at Beirne Park on the east end.

Melissa Orscheln, the city's public information officer, said similar boxes are in Maryland Heights and St. Peters, installed by the city police and fire departments. Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization established in 2010 and with more than 75,000 registered boxes in 88 countries. She said the minimum cost for the city to participate is a one-time fee, of about $45, which would allow for registration of locations. Cost of the boxes vary but include the fee, she said.

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