Airbnb request passed in June, then failed in July

Maplewood resident, Claire Martin’s request to run a short term vacation rental (Airbnb) in her home passed planning and zoning in the June meeting, but was denied in the July meeting. The agenda for the June meeting went online this week.

According to a commission member, the item returned to the July meeting because the process requires public notice, which it didn’t have for the June meeting. When it returned for July the neighbor was present and spoke out against it based on parking concerns. The commission voted in July to recommend to the city council that the permit be denied.

According to the minutes from the June meeting, now online, Claire Martin told the commission her plans for an Airbnb at her home on High Street. Commission Chairman Kevin Sullivan asked if she received a citation for running an Airbnb with a valid permit. Martin said she came in to obtain a short term vacation rental (STVR) permit in March, one day after she received the letter from the city.

City Assistant Tanager Anthony Traxler said a letter was sent on January 25 requesting compliance, and follow up citations were sent when the letter was ignored and the application to obtain a valid STVR permit was filed on May 1. Commission member Dan Noonan said he was concerned about parking, and asked Martin if she has had any problems.

Martin said parking has not been a problem because most guests don’t have a vehicle; they are visiting Washington University and she usually takes them to and from her house in her car.

Martin added that she has spoken to her neighbors and they have no concerns about her having a STVR. Commission member Sandi Phillips asked if she has three roommates, where would a guest sleep. Martin said one of her roommates is moving out and they would sleep in a bedroom on the main floor.

It passed, in June, with five yes votes, one no and one abstention.

Since it didn’t pass in the July meeting, Martin can choose to still take the request to city council, but since it failed in planning and zoning passage at the council will require a higher margin of yes votes. A public hearing is scheduled for the July 11 meeting.


8 thoughts on “Airbnb request passed in June, then failed in July

  1. I live next door to an airbnb now they have been running for only 4 to 6 months but all the guest have been great , friendly and quite some I never even knew were there.

  2. Doug, thank you for clarifying as to why it went back in front of the P&Z. This was still the big question I had after reading the previous minutes and agendas that were released to the public yesterday afternoon.

    Because the July P&Z minutes won’t be published until August, it is hard to say who changed their vote since it went from it being approved with 5 ayes – 1 nay (Sullivan) – 1 abstain (Lema) vote to not passing with 3 nays – 2 ayes just one month later. Interesting that this info regarding change of vote is not included in the council’s agenda for tonight’s meeting (see page 22 in adobe). But from all the supporting documentation made public, the argument against it seems to be strictly based on parking (and where the people in the house would sleep which is certainly not relevant). From the June P&Z minutes, the P&Z decided there was adequate parking, but in July after Mr Crader spoke there was not. There was no change to the amount of structures built in the area. The street they live on still includes two single family homes and is still able to hold 4 cars. It remains legal to park on the street and neither house has greater claim to those spots since it is public parking. So what was the variable that caused two P&Z members to perform some mental magic and come up with a different conclusion this time around?

  3. living next to an airBnB would be miserable, can’t say I blame the guy for not wanting one next to his home.

  4. Lets be clear the neighbor was Ray Crader, City Councilman. Its hard for me to understand this as she met every requirement set forth in the ordinance, but was denied due to parking concerns. Now add the fact that Crader shows up and it doesnt pass. This is some high grade BS. I believe that every other airbnb was passed with almost the exact situation. I google mapped each house and saw no difference in the parking circumstances. I can only assume that the P&Z gave special consideration to the neighbor. To me, practices like this are the reason our city is being sued and if I were Martin I would enlist a lawyer and jump on the sue Maplewood bandwagon.

    • Hey Kevin thanks for the support. Legal counsel is underway and I hope the Council can see through the bias and arrive at economic growth tonight!