CLEAR LAKE, Iowa — Clear Lake officials are considering regulating single-family homes that are used as vacation rentals.

A work group of city staff and local residents will be created to draft a proposed ordinance, The Globe Gazette (http://bit.ly/2cqqXv1 ) reports.

City administrator Scott Flory says the group may consider occupancy thresholds, a permitting system, parking availability and ways to hold property owners accountable for continually loud renters, excessive trash and other nuisances.

Flory says rentals and guests haven’t been problematic, but it’s becoming more of an issue as rentals become bigger business in the city.

According to Flory, issuing permits and tracking vacation rentals might help find owners who aren’t paying the required hotel-motel tax.

Property owners who rent their homes for less than a month are required to pay a 7 percent tax to the city.

City Council members Tony Nelson and Mike Callanan, along with Mayor Nelson Crabb, told Flory they supported exploring an ordinance. But councilman Gary Hugi questioned just how big problem nuisance rentals are and who would be in charge of enforcing a new ordinance.

“Ultimately, it is the property owner’s responsibility no matter what happens on that property,” he said.

Clear Lake property owners Jim and Rebecca Raatz said they would not be against “reasonable” regulations. Property manager Sonja Muhm said landlords could assist police by stringently vetting potential renters.

“I have limits and I have turned people away because of those limits,” said Muhm, a real estate agent. “I have had people offer to put tents in my yard. The answer is no.”

No timetable has been set on when the work group could deliver a proposal to the City Council.


Information from: Globe Gazette, http://www.globegazette.com/