Richmond Heights officials Monday night took a step, though not unanimously, toward making a decision — possibly yea or nay — to allow short term rentals (STRs).
Going around the table, council members expressed considerations allowing STRs — such as online services like Airbnb, such as limiting the number of allowed STRs on a block, limiting street parking for renters, polling the neighbors to see if it’s wanted on the block, whether the city would require a sales tax, and how violations would be handled.
The council members agreed, with three dissenting, to send the idea to planning and zoning for its recommendation. The P&Z meeting, likely be held in February, would also be a public hearing. The city council would take it up after that, in a meeting which would also include a public hearing.
If the consensus following those meetings is to not go ahead with STRs, the city could draft an ordinance specifically banning them.
City manager Amy Hamilton said there are “multiple” AirBnbs now in operation in Richmond Heights. She said the site makes it hard to determine exactly where they are. She said the Maplewood city manger, where they are allowed by ordinance, said there are seven AirBnBs registered and at least 20 being advertised. The unregistered owners have been notified.
Council member Matt Casey said at a gathering recently he didn’t talk to anyone who is against it. He also doubted how popular it might be, with Richmond Heights not being a big destination.
Rick Vilcek said there is no support in his neighborhood, and that many of his neighbors don’t really understand what AirBnB and other online STRs are.
The council also approved easement, storm water and sewer agreements for Boland Place, apartments to be built at Boland and Dale. Developer Joe Cyr said after the meeting that he is applying for permits to begin construction.