A short-term rental landlord in Hudson, Wisconsin faces a legal battle after the city and county filed an injunction against her in court, saying she ignored repeated requests to get the appropriate license to operate legally.
Brooke Fleetwood owns two properties in Hudson – the Pink Castle at 904 Vine St. and the Goth House at 1031 2nd St. – and operate them as a short term rental.
But the town of Hudson and the County of St. Croix – in a 113-page injunction filed in court on Aug. 9 – claim it doesn’t have the proper license for them. They say they have contacted her on several occasions to work things out, including sending a cease and desist order for her two properties on May 27, 2021.
“I have no comment other than the documents which clearly show that the city and county have tried everything to bring these properties into compliance,” Judson city administrator Arron Reeves told Bring Me The on Monday. News.
County of Sainte-Croix has a prescription to regulate short-term rentals, also known as “tourist rooming houses,” much like the town of Hudson, which it adopted on June 1, 2020.
Fleetwood “ignored” the City of Hudson and St. Croix County warrants regarding the licensing, use, advertising of the pool and hot tub to guests, and thus “intentionally defying applicable laws state, county and local ”, city and county Claim.
Mike Padden, Fleetwood’s attorney, told Bring Me The News on Thursday that this battle “ultimately comes down” to how the city and county label Fleetwood’s short-term rental pools, adding “We are not. disagree with this attempt at designation. “
Court documents say the Pink Castle Pool and Hot Tub and Goth House Pool are not properly licensed, as required, as they do not meet commercial building standards. Pools for short-term rentals must adhere to code or they cannot be used by tenants of the property, according to court documents.
“It’s her [Fleetwood’s] position that their [the city and county] attempting to designate these pools as commercial is unreasonable. It’s not a municipal pool that hundreds of people swim in, ”Padden said, noting that there would be at most 15 people using the pool.
He doesn’t believe the city and county are claiming there is anything unhealthy about the pools, just that “We have decided that they are commercial and you have to comply and if you don’t, we’re going to put you out of business’ – that’s basically what they say. “
Fleetwood told the city and county “a long time ago” that she disagreed with the designation of swimming pools at her properties, Padden said. If the city and county find it needs to rebuild the pools, “it just won’t be feasible,” he added.
“She wants to comply; she wants these people to stop bothering her,” Padden said. “This is not a situation where they contacted her and she said ‘Hey, stop.'”
The Town of Hudson said Fleetwood had filed “incomplete” applications for a short-term rental license in Hudson for the Pink Castle on October 26, 2020 and the Gothic House on April 29, 2021. But since then, has failed not submitted appropriate requests. and documentation to operate the short-term rental.
However, Padden says Fleetwood has applied for a license and paid the fee, but the city and county will not license him.
“The attempt to seek an injunction and immediately shut it down is completely unreasonable,” said Padden, generally noting that two parties would work together outside of court to reach a resolution.
The city and county are seeking an injunction from Fleetwood. According to the court record:
“After being duly informed of its obligation to obtain the required licenses prior to operation, Fleetwood did not obtain the operating licenses for the Pink Castle and the Gothic House. Fleetwood continues to advertise and allow customers to use the pools and / or hot tubs at Pink Castle and Goth House, in violation of state, county and local law. Due to Fleetwood’s failure to obtain licenses to operation required by ordinances, the County of St. Croix and the town are entitled to a temporary and permanent injunction directing Fleetwood to operate the Pink Castle and Gothic House in violation of the ordinances of the County and Town of St. Cross.
A court hearing is scheduled for Aug. 24, and Padden says they will oppose the city and county’s injunction request.
Padden says it’s hard not to wonder if “people have an ax to grind,” citing a 2017 incident in which the city told Fleetwood the color of its pink house on Third Street in downtown ‘Hudson. violates the zoning code.
Fleetwood ended up winning in this battle, with Padden just telling you “kinda wonder if this involves them trying to get their piece of flesh”.
“I don’t know yet,” Padden said, noting that he hadn’t made any arrangements.
Bring Me The News also reached out to Fleetwood, who said she wished she could comment but couldn’t, then provided contact details to her lawyer.