Saturday, January 14, 2012

VR Permit Denied After Unanimous Approval

New Haven, Wisconsin  1/13/12

Up until today, a vacation rental permit request in Wisconsin had unanimous approval by the New Haven Plan Commission., but today the town board unanimously voted against issuing the permit.  Planning and zoning administrator Phil McLaughlin said they would need to visit the property before they could proceed.  Town Attorney Dan Wood questioned whether the permit could be issued because the property is zoned for agricultural use.

An email from Woods states:

"I referenced to him the position of the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, a position I understand that is shared by the Wisconsin Towns Association, that conditional use permits can only be granted for uses that are specifically enumerated as conditional uses in the zoning code for the district at issue. Short-term rental is not specifically enumerated as a conditional use in the county's zoning code for the A-1 District."

A spokesman for the league said when a person's property is zoned they are only allowed to do what is expressly permitted by code and all other uses are prohibited with some exceptions.

The rental owner's request for a permit is on the agenda for the Planning and Zoning Commission again on February 1st.

This is a classic example of the confusion that reigns when it comes to allowing or disallowing vacation rentals, and points out the need for a more uniform and sensical approach to regulating STRs.

~ Doug Coates

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