ST. CHARLES, Mo. – St. Charles City Council introduced a new bill Tuesday to regulate short-term rentals like Airbnb in the city.
In order to operate a short-term rental in St. Charles, you will need a permit.
The city confirms there are roughly 60 licenses they’ve approved. If the bill is passed, their plan is to give out permits in residential areas for half of one percent of available homes which comes out to 150 rentals.
“Just hopping on Airbnb, VRBO, we’re guessing there’s at least another 100 out there that haven’t gone through the correct permitting process,” said Zach Tussinger, City of St. Charles Community Development Director. “We’re hopeful that the new regulations we’re going to put in place will last a while.”
At Tuesday night’s city council meeting, an old ordinance was removed and a new ordinance for short-term rentals was introduced with proposed updates.
One of the changes would make it mandatory for homeowners to get a conditional use permit for residential areas but it would drop the conditional permit for those on Main Street.
A vacation rental in a commercial zone is a business such as a hotel or a restaurant. Another proposed idea would be to make sure rentals are 500 feet from one another.
“A lot of people want to stay in something that’s a little more cozy, friendly, closer to the Main Street if they can’t get a hotel,” said St. Charles resident Jeff Newman. “So, as long as the owners who own the property are maintaining the property and keep up with a property which it doesn’t become a detriment to the community, I don’t see a problem with it.”
Some neighbors are wearier, especially one that has an Airbnb across the street.
“I think residential should be residential because people that stay at the house do not care about my neighborhood. They go about their lives and move on,” said St. Charles resident Linda Fischer.
Fischer said her neighbor’s home never had any issues, but she worries the bill would increase the risk of problems such as parties, trash, and in general taking the space away from residents.
More concerns will be raised as discussions continue.