North Royalton City Council is again discussing short-term rentals, after legislation was introduced at the February 5 Council meeting. The proposed ordinance was introduced by Council President Larry Antoskiewicz and Ward 3 Councilman Dan Langshaw.
Last fall, the North Royalton City Council adopted an ordinance placing a moratorium on the operation of short-term residential real estate rentals, such as Airbnb. The moratorium prohibits the operation of any short term rental for any amount less than 30 days, of residential real estate.
The moratorium legislation was introduced by Council President Larry Antoskiewicz and Ward 5 Council Representative Cheryl Hannan and co-sponsored by Ward 4 Council Representative Paul Marnecheck. The legislation was introduced last September, after Hannan received communication from a resident regarding the rental of a neighbor’s home. The resident stated that they didn’t feel safe with people coming and going and implored Council to do something about it. Hannan said that she often will look to the city’s current ordinances to see if there is something on the books that would address various issues. She spoke to Antoskiewicz and it was determined that there was no ordinance on the books that would address the matter.
The moratorium legislation was adopted, 4-3, with Ward 1 Councilman John Nickell, Ward 2 Councilman Gary Petrusky and Ward 3 Councilman Dan Langshaw casting the dissenting votes. Nickell had said that although he understood that there could be potential problems with short-term renters, the fact that North Royalton was not a destination made the situation a non-emergency one. Petrusky had stated that he did not want legislation when there were no complaints to warrant it. “I think banning things temporarily is bad public policy and that the regular legislative process of discussing things in committee with public input was a better way to go,” said Langshaw.
Several residents recently addressed the issue with Council against the measure. They had been renting out homes or rooms, which is now prohibited under the moratorium. Langshaw worked with the city’s Law Department and co-sponsored legislation with Antoskiewicz that is similar to that recently enacted in North Olmsted at the February 5 meeting.
“Ultimately, I don’t want homes becoming hotels but at the same time, I want to protect homeowners’ rights to such rentals and do not want this ban to draw out like past ones City Council has done,” said Langshaw. “What we are doing is very basic regulation and will address this issue as intended. I am open to any amendments my colleagues would like. I just want to get this done without further delay so we can move on to other pressing business.”
“We just put it in committee so I don’t know how it’s going to turn out,” said Antoskiewicz. “At this point, the way it’s written is that if you want to rent your room out or have a space, it has to be your permanent residence, versus, letting people renting these things out from people who don’t live in the city. Some don’t live in the state. I get the whole property rights thing, but the people living around them have rights too. People don’t feel comfortable with that in residential areas.” Antoskiewicz noted that there currently is an ordinance in place for those renting property over thirty days. He also noted that since North Royalton is not a destination location, he doesn’t feel that the problem is a big one. “Hopefully we can minimize any issues that come up.”
Mayor Bob Stefanik noted that, “I guess the question everyone has to ask themselves is would they like to live next door to one of these short-term rentals. I don’t think you’ll find many residents who would. It’s different if you’re talking about Kelly’s Island, Put-in-Bay or Fort Lauderdale, as they are tourist areas. It just doesn’t make sense in residential neighborhoods in North Royalton. I haven’t come across one person who wants to live next to one of these rentals.”
Council will continue the discussion on the newly introduced legislation at its Building and Building Codes Committee meeting before the measure comes up for a vote.
Contributing Writer