Oswego Village Council Takes Steps To Regulate Short-Term Rentals – Shaw Local


Oswego Village Council has asked village staff to move forward with drafting short-term rental property by-laws during a committee of the whole meeting on Tuesday evening February 15.

The by-law will be presented to council for further consideration and possible adoption.

At a meeting last month, a group of landlords in the village’s Lakeview Estates subdivision urged council to impose restrictions on local homes offered online for short-term rentals.

In making their request, the landlords cited two incidents where village police responded to a home offered for short-term rental in the 500 block of Lakeview Drive in the subdivision south of Highway 71.

After a lengthy discussion on February 15, the council reached consensus for village staff to draft by-laws that would require all short-term rental properties to be registered with the village and pay a fee.

The council, however, expressed differing views on setting a minimum number of days a property can be rented out under the proposed regulations.

Village solicitor Karl Ottosen outlined the council’s options in terms of legal parameters, whether it adopts and enforces regulations and then faces a legal challenge.

Ottosen said that with short-term rentals being a relatively new phenomenon, it was unclear who the courts would side with, but suggested regulation rather than an outright ban.

When questioned by administrators, Police Chief Jeff Burgner said his department was aware of four residences currently operating as short-term rental properties, noting the only disruption was the incident at the Lakeview Estates residence.

In a memo to the board, Rod Zenner, the village’s community development director, noted that the registration requirement would allow the village to establish a database that could include a maximum number of planned people in each unit. short-term rental and owner’s contact information in case of emergency.

“The current fee for registering a business is $50, but specific fees may be established for this proposed use,” Zenner said.

Zenner also noted that the regulations would allow the village to set a reasonable number of guests at rental residences and a minimum number of nights rented to guard against one-night parties disrupting neighborhoods.

Village administrator Kit Kuhrt suggested a registration program as well as the creation of a police department-run village app that would require upfront payment and background checks on tenants.

Village administrator Brian Thomas said allowing short-term rentals would be counterproductive, in that they would deprive hotels of businesses that bring money to the village.

Thomas said Oswego was not a vacation destination and proposed banning short-term rentals of less than 30 days, similar to restrictions Naperville put in place in 2021.

Village administrator James Marter said he thought a 30-day minimum for rental properties would be incredibly bad policy, suggesting the restriction be on two-to-three-day rentals.

Several trustees suggested that subdivision owners’ associations should have the power to decide restrictions in their bylaws.

“Who are we to tell people what to do with their rental property? Kuhrt asked.

A resident of the Heritage Subdivision near Route 34 told council that the subdivision does not have a homeowners association and that he would like to see the village put in place some type of regulation.

Village President Troy Parlier said that while the HOAs are a first line of defense, there are residents they cannot protect.

Parlier encouraged council to find a modest restriction that could be agreed upon and would protect village residents.

A consensus was reached in favor of village staff drafting a set of by-laws to be submitted to the council.

Administrators Tom Guist and Thomas opposed the decision. Thomas said he wouldn’t agree to anything allowing rentals of less than 30 days.

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