COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho — The Coeur d’Alene City Council may soon discuss putting a moratorium on new permits for short-term rentals, reports our partners at Coeur d'Alene Press.
Councilwoman Christie Wood floated the possibility during Monday’s General Services/Public Works Committee meeting, where half the body considered a city proposal to better regulate short-term rentals, or STRs.
Wood said she thinks a moratorium will be necessary if the council puts a cap on how many STR permits are issued annually.
“We can’t have a thousand people rushing to get a permit when we might not allow that many,” she said.
She requested that the potential moratorium be added as a discussion item for next week’s city council meeting.
Idaho law prohibits cities and counties from enacting ordinances that prohibit short-term or vacation rentals. But jurisdictions have authority to implement “reasonable regulations.”
Limiting STR permits — whether by moratorium, lottery or some other method — is just one of several options under consideration to address the impact of these rentals on Coeur d’Alene.
Other proposed solutions include:
• Limiting short-term rentals to owner-occupied properties within residential zones
• Requiring off-street parking
• Requiring a minimum two-night stay
• Increasing violation fees
• Hiring a company to enforce compliance with new STR rules
Last August, the city had 228 legally permitted STRs. Now it has 381 — a 40% increase in one year. About half belong to locals who live on the property they’re renting out.
Senior planner Sean Holm said the city estimates around 700 STRs are operating illegally in Coeur d’Alene, or about 2.8 illegal rentals for each legal one. The city could have more than 1,000 total STRs.
Violating the current STR ordinance is punishable by a $100 fine.
Though Wood said she’s open to stiff financial penalties for those who violate the rules, she opposed a suggested misdemeanor citation for repeat offenders.
“I don’t want to make criminals out of people who are renting their houses out,” she said.
Both Wood and Councilwoman Amy Evans supported the possibility of forming a committee that can review STR ordinance violations, similar to the city’s parking commission.
Following another city council meeting, Community Planning Director Hillary Patterson said the next step is for the city to reach out to current permit holders, neighborhood groups and other stakeholders to gather feedback.
A joint workshop with the council and planning commission will follow.
The public will have the chance to comment on the draft ordinance.
If amendments to the short-term rental ordinance move forward, they could go into effect by the time the next permitting period begins in March.
The Coeur d'Alene Press is a KREM 2 news partner. For more from our partners, click here.
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