BY D’ARCY PATRICK EGAN
Port Clinton City Council overwhelmingly approved legislation for Short-Term Rental rules for the city property owners. The specific rules have yet to be approved by council, but will be designed to assure residents that enforcement will be put in place to protect those who live in proximity to Short-Term Rentals.
Only one Port Clinton resident attended the Port Clinton City Council meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 12, where council members gave final approval to Short-Term Rentals by a 7-0 vote, but resident Melanie Gard covered areas that worry many living and working in the city.
That includes enforcement of Short-Term Rental rules, which have yet to be approved by council, to prevent the problem that Short-Term Rentals bring to a community. That ranges from noise complaints to allowing too many people to stay at a rented residence, trash pickup and parking problems.
There are a wide variety of Short-Term Rentals available around Port Clinton, the state and the country, not to mention their proliferation in vacation spots around the world.
Some areas, such as Danbury Township, have only a few Short-Term Rentals that were either grandfathered in or approved because of their unique location. Danbury Township trustees have consistently opposed creating rules to allow more of the rentals.
Port Clinton already has housing being snapped up by locals and outsiders to rent by the day, week or month. That can be a worry for the many motels and hotels in the area that must compete with them.
The rental groups include such popular properties utilized by Airbnb, Vrbo, Booking.com, Expedia and Homestay.com. Short-Term Rentals are easy to find, said Safety-Service Director Tracy Colston of Port Clinton.
“Council wants to make sure that there are some regulations in place to protect neighbors of the Short-Tem Rentals and determine how complaints or disputes will be handled.
Port Clinton already receives a 3% tax on Short-Term Rentals. This year, to date, that has put $325,666 into the city’s coffers.
At the forefront of creating the new Short-Term Rental rules will be Law Director Dina Shenker. Bearing the brunt of enforcement will be the Port Clinton Police Department.