Tuesday, November 22, 2011

New Haven, Wisconsin considers permit for short-term rentals

    By Hayden Marx Dells Events | Posted: Tuesday, November 22, 2011 5:14 pm | (0) Comments
    The New Haven Town Board tabled discussion on short-term rental conditional use permits despite concern the county could consider one of the permits before the next town meeting.
Town Attorney Dan Wood said there is nothing that states the county is legally require to get town's input before considering a conditional use permit. He said one would hope the county would allow the town to make a decision first.
Dale Haddon, co-owner of Haddon's Hollow a short-term rental property without a permit, told the board he and his wife already scheduled a meeting with the county for December. He said they drove 1,000 miles for the meeting and want a decision so they could be ready for the next step.
Town Clerk Berniece Tangney said she thinks it's a little presumptuous for the county to put the Haddons on the agenda before the town met with them.
Chairman of the plan commission Pete Joslin said the Haddons did not show up for the plan commission's meeting earlier in the week, so it tabled the Haddon's request.
Haddon first said they had no knowledge of the meeting.
Tangney said the Haddons were sent a letter with information about the meeting.
Haddon then said they received the letter, but did not know they were required to attend the meeting.
Tangney confirmed with Wood the board could act without guidance from the plan commission.
He said the board could.
Town Chairman Mike Julson suggested the board wait until it has more knowledge of the situation before making a decision.
Joslin said the plan commission put together a list of 12 conditions for short-term rentals at its meeting including requiring sites to have local management and a noise restriction starting at 10 p.m.
He said the commission did not direct the conditions towards any one particular property, but based on overall need.
"We struggled with them (the conditions) quite a bit," said Joslin. "It's not easy."
An audience member suggested having a restriction on noise before a certain time in the morning. He suggested 8 a.m.
Joslin said the commission would consider it. He asked Wood if the conditions might cause problems with the county.
Wood said the county has pretty wide latitude for conditions a town places on a short-term rental property.
"Frankly the issue is enforcement," said Wood, "with three deputies covering a fairly wide county, noise violations fall low (on their list of properties)."
Joslin said the commission realized there would be little to practically no enforcement from the county on those calls and would rely on the owners to respond to complaints about noise. He said the county would come in on issues of safety or in an emergency.
Joslin said the threat of losing the permit would be how the town would motivate owners to taking care of problems,
Haddon said enforcement would not be a problem for them. He said they have been renting short-term for 13 years and have not had any problems until recently. He said they have a $600 damage deposit they require their renters to pay and use it to ensure their guests act appropriately.
"If there is a problem I just keep the $600 damage deposit," said Haddon.
He gave the example of an incident of someone firing a gun and said he took their deposit.
"Would you shoot a gun if it cost you $600?," said Haddon.
He said they have a caretaker who is 10 minutes away and although is not available 24/7, will be able to mediate.
Audience member Peggy Becker disagreed. She said their caretaker is Dale Jensen who works 12 hour shifts three to four days a week in Baraboo.
The town board tabled the decision until the next meeting in December. The plan commission will meet the Monday prior.
In the meantime, Wood said he will look into whether short-term rentals are allowed on property zoned A-1, which is what the Haddon's property is zoned. He also mentioned the possibility the Haddon's property could be considered legal nonconforming because of how long it has been used as a short-term rental.
Joslin said the town has the right to enact a room tax of 1 to 8 percent. He also said its uncommon for a rural community, like New Haven, to have a room tax.
The board also tabled the request of Curt Van Schoyck for a conditional use permit.
Joslin said Van Schoyck attended the plan commission's meeting.
The board also approved:
-A certified survey map for the division and combination of parcels #194-10, #196-10 and 192. It will divide the farm land from the house and buildings.
-Rezoning approximately 3.53 Acres from A1-15 to R1-LL on First Lane. It received unanimous approval at the plan commission.
-The budget of $234,232.

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