Board denies vacation rental appeal

An East Harriet resident’s appeal of a city zoning administrator’s decision not to allow her home to be used for short-term rental was denied last month at a regular meeting of the Minneapolis Zoning Board of Adjustment.

Carolyn Moore, who used her home at 49th Street & Bryant Avenue as a vacation rental — renting it to single parties for brief stays, usually less than a week — was cited several times for operating what Zoning Administrator Steve Poor said resembled a hotel or bed-and-breakfast, a prohibited use given the home’s zoning. Moore argued her operation was closer to a regular rental property issuing short-term leases.

The Zoning Board of Adjustment postponed its decision twice before reaching an agreement on the topic, albeit with a less-than-full board. The vote was 3-2 with two members absent.

Moore isn’t done, though. She has appealed the decision again, and city staff said the City Council plans to take up the issue on a broader scale.

Moore started using her home as a vacation rental last spring, when she moved out to care for her ailing father. She was unable to sell her house and having herself used a vacation rental before, thought that approach would be a good idea.

Some neighbors have been concerned about the comings and goings of different people, parking, and the potential for crime if the house is empty. Moore and her supporters have said the home is well managed and tenants are thoroughly screened.

Vacation renting is a growing trend in the Twin Cities, as some homeowners have found it’s a way to make ends meet during tough financial times.

Minneapolis has no regulations that specifically address vacation renting. It is a relatively new practice in the state that was first addressed on a large scale in Stearns County.