Twin Lakes considering short-term rental regulations

The Twin Lakes Village Board is considering whether it needs to regulate short-term rentals within the village after being approached by residents of one neighborhood about problems they have seen with those arrangements.

Several residents of Rosebud Avenue attended the meeting to voice concerns about a home in their neighborhood that has repeatedly been rented through short-term rental websites to rowdy, large groups of individuals.

In a statement to the board, Rosebud Avenue resident Bridgitt Montijo described underage renters, pot smoking outside and groups of 25-30 guests in a single house.

“This is a nuisance for the neighborhood,”

Hearing the nature of the complaints, Lt. Josh Cooper, representing the Twin Lakes Police Department at the meeting, urged the Rosebud residents to call police. Violators can be prosecuted under nuisance or criminal behavior ordinances.

“If you call, we will come,” Cooper said.

Village administrator Jenifer Frederick, in advance of the meeting, had researched regulation of short-term rentals by neighboring communities. Lake Geneva had perhaps the strictest laws, allowing such rentals only in commercial areas and requiring a conditional use permit. Paddock Lake had the least regulation.

Trustee Kevin Fitzgerald initially questioned why the practice — which he saw as strictly commercial — was even allowed in residential areas.

But other board members, cognizant of Twin Lakes history as a resort area in which many homes are rented for various amounts of time, seemed wary of over regulating many short-term rental situations for one that has gone wrong.

“We are walking a fine line,” said Trustee Barbara Andres. “We are a resort community and we have to have rentals available.”

“There are people who can rent respectfully as well,” said village administrator Jennifer Frederick.

In discussion after the Rosebud residents left the meeting, Trustee Jeremy Knoll suggested vigorously prosecuting nuisance and criminal violations in situations where short-term rentals are bothering residents. In addition to ticketing violators, he suggested property owners be ticketed or punished in some way as well.

In ending the discussion, Trustee Thomas Connolly, who was leading the meeting in the absence of President Howard Skinner, asked Frederick to research whether the ordinance could be changed to hold property owners more accountable for renting to people who behave badly.

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3 Comments

  1. Tim McCole says:

    Live and let live. If you need to call the cops let them decide if the law is being broke. I don’t like when my neighbor mows at 8am but o well. he is not doing anything that he should not. People having a party let them have fun, they brake the law call the cops. But to stop letting an income source to the landlord, and the money spent in a lake community would be taking away peoples rights a bit I
    feel.

  2. Left the meeting? says:

    I was not there but I’m going to guess that the citizens comments about the short-term rentals were voiced at the beginning of the meeting in the citizens comment section. Why those residents then left the meeting and or why there was continue discussion after the item came up on the agenda is curious. The story states that there was discussion of this after the residence left. Why would a residence leave if the discussion was not over?
    Since it was an agenda item wouldn’t the citizens be allowed to speak as the agenda worked its way down to their topic?

    1. The citizens spoke when the item was reached on the agenda. They left when it appeared the discussion had ended. I followed them out to get names. When I returned, some discussion about how to proceed was still taking place among the board members.

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