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Coeur d'Alene cracks down on illegal short-term rentals | Boomtown

Coeur d'Alene passed a proposal to hire a company to oversee vacation rentals. There are over 700 illegal short-term rentals the city wants to eliminate.

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho — Coeur D'Alene is considering ways to deal with the rising number of short-term rentals, many of which are illegal.

The city council approved a proposal to hire a company that monitors vacation rentals.

The city wants to start cracking down on short-term rentals that aren't legally permitted.

Coeur d'Alene, known for its scenic views and outdoor adventures, is home to more than 1,000 vacation rentals.

But the city says that only 453 of them are legally permitted.

"Short-term rentals are awesome. People come here to North Idaho to experience the lake," said Colton Haaker, who owns a short-term rental.

With so many short-term rental properties that aren't tracked, the city is hiring Granicus, an agency based in Minnesota, to help regulate short-term rentals. 

Haaker is hopeful that the city will implement some new regulations.

"At the end of the day, regulation needs to be in place for those that aren't trying to follow the rules because then there is a slight amount of chaos and anarchy that can ensue," said Haaker.

KREM 2 spoke with a vacation rental owner—who would rather work with the city on her own.

"Evidently, they've hired an outside company to collect that data but I hope they will still consider working with the citizens," said Diana Nottag, who owns several short-term rentals.

The city says that they need to know how many and where the illegal rental units are in able to make future regulations. This is where Granicus comes in.

Coeur d'Alene is paying them over $50,000 to come up with this data.

And how they're coming up with this money, a fee increase for short-term rental permits.

"Short-term rentals that are legal and permitted paying for the bill just doesn't seem right," said Jeremy Radford, who created the Coeur D'Alene rental home alliance.

The current short-term rental permit ordinance was passed in 2017.

The ordinance's purpose is "to establish regulations to safeguard the public safety, health, and general welfare."

But in the past year, the city says they need some new rules because of complaints they've received about illegal short-term rentals.

Zach Froehlich, the owner of CDA Vacation Rentals, said, "It's hard to regulate. We all want regulation on them, we think they should be licensed. We think you should have accountability. Certainly, that's going to bring the best user experience."

But even though Froehlich is for regulation, he has some doubts about Granicus.

"I just think doing it externally is always going to be problematic," said Froehlich.

The city says that some of the new regulations they are looking into are limiting the number of short-term rental properties on one block and a lottery system for permits.

The fine for operating a short-term rental without a permit is $100 dollars. 

City officials say they may increase that fine.

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