This past Monday, the Duluth City Council approved a new ordinance that updates the vacation rental property rules.  All new applications will go through the planning commission for approval and go to the City Council for any appeals.   Councilman Zack Filipovich pointed out that this new ordinance should also help clarify screenings and change the procedures for approval. 

Short-Term Rental Updates 

Below you can find the sections that were amended in section 50-20.3.U ‘Vacation Dwelling Unit’, and all underlined portions are new changes to the ordinance. 

  1. Rental Period.  The minimum rental period shall not be less than two consecutive nights, nor more than a maximum of 29 consecutive nights.  The minimum rental period shall not apply for vacation dwelling units in form districts. 
  2. Maximum Number of Persons and Bedrooms.  The total number of persons that may occupy the vacation dwelling unit is one person plus the number of bedrooms multiplied by two, which shall not exceed nine.  The maximum number of bedrooms that may be rented may not exceed four.  Vacation rental dwelling units licensed before December 1, 2021, that exceeded four bedrooms are entitled to continue operating, however, the exemption expires upon transfer of any ownership interest in the permitted property. 
  3. Application Materials.  The property owner must provide a site plan, drawn to scale, showing parking and driveways, distance from lot line of proposed vacation dwelling to neighboring residential structures, all structures and outdoor recreational areas that guests will be allowed to use, including but not limited to, deck/patio, barbecue grill, recreational fire, pool, hot tub, or sauna, and provide detail concerning the provision of any dense urban screen or fence that may be required to buffer these areas from adjoining properties.  A dense urban screen or fence is required if the adjoining property is used as a residential use, as identified in 50-19.8.  Prior to the permit being authorized, the fence or dense vegetative screen must be in place, and it must be continuously maintained during the entire permit period.  The requirement for a dense urban screen or fence may be waived if the adjoining property owner does not want it on or near their shared property line, and indicates this with a signed letter; 
  4. Termination.  The interim use permit shall terminate upon change in ownership of the property or in six years after the date of issuance, whichever occurs first.  Upon permit termination, property owner may reapply.  The permit is only valid for the property and applicant or property owner that it was initially issued to and the permit shall not be transferred to a new applicant or property owner, or to a new property or different address. 
  5. Maximum Number of Vacation Dwelling Units. No more than 60 permits may be issued for either vacation dwelling units or accessory vacation dwelling units, excepting that the maximum number of permits that may be issued shall increase by 10 percent of the net increase in housing units constructed and issued certificates of occupancy in the city in the previous year, or no more than ten (10) new vacation dwelling units per year, whichever is less, provided that the total number of vacation dwelling units authorized shall not exceed 120 units. Permits for vacation dwelling units within Form Districts (F1-F9) are exempt from the maximum number of permits that may be issued. 
  6. Nuisance Reduction. The vacation dwelling permit holder shall ensure that all requirements for waste removal services and prohibitions on burning of trash is strictly adhered to by occupants of the vacation dwelling. The permit holder must designate in writing a managing agent or local contact who resides within 25 miles of the City and who has authority to act for the owner in responding 24-hours-a-day to any complaints from neighbors or the City. The permit holder must notify the city within 10 days of a change in the managing agent or local contact’s contact information. The permit holder shall notify by letter all property owners within 100′ of the property boundaries of the name, address, and phone number of the managing agent or local contact named above and provide the city with a copy of the letter. The permit holder must notify said property owners within 10 days of a change in the managing agent or local contact’s contact information. 
  7. Advertisement. The permit holder must include the permit number on all print, poster or web advertisements.

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