ST. CHARLES, Mo. – St. Charles City Council passed a resolution to enact a 20-day moratorium on the short-term rental bill, giving homeowners until October 24 to apply for a permit to legally comply under the current ordinance.
The emotions were high before the vote on Tuesday night as St. Charles residents voiced their opinions on whether the council should put a pause on limitations for short term rentals.
“Those of us that are licensed are the ones being called in here and there’s no action being taken against the ones that are operating illegally,” said Chrissy Roofe, a short term rental owner.
The two biggest issues center around how many rentals like Airbnb and Vrbo should be allowed in residential neighborhoods, as well as how far apart they should be.
On August 2, the city council passed a bill capping residential short term rentals with a conditional use permit at 150 with a 500 feet buffer in between.
There are numerous listings that do not have a permit.
“It’s not that I’m against them, but there are just too dense, so what the problem is erosion of our neighborhoods,” said a St. Charles resident who commented at the meeting. “Ultimately, we’re losing our neighborhoods to this and that’s what I’m against, too many of them, too densely populated.”
The ordinance was introduced to get a hard count on how many short term rentals are operating.
“We have 2 billion in development going on right now on our riverfront,” said St. Charles Mayor Dan Borgmeyer. “That’s going to increase our demand, and we got to move away from this bedroom community that we’ve always been because to be honest, our average resident is over 50 years old. We don’t have this financial base.”
Roofe is one of many homeowners with a permit. She is legally operating two rentals that are one block away from each other in the Midtown district.
“We have to reapply every year and there a really long list of things that we have to comply with in order to stay licensed and permitted,” Roofe said. “Which is fine, I’m happy to follow the rules, but the rules keep changing. I don’t think it should be a factor at all as long as the business is operating legally with what their standards are.”
Those who didn’t have a permit can apply for one now during this window, but they may face some consequences. However, it’s unclear what the specifics would be.
“If you’re in the business, and you need a license or if you purchased a property and rehabbing right now, I think they’re going to give you a short window of opportunity to hopefully be able to do that,” Borgmeyer said.
The next meeting to approve these new applications will be in December.