The Hubbard County Board proposed additional public hearings regarding new regulations for short-term rentals (STR), commonly known as Vacation Rental By Owner (VRBOs).

The hearing for proposed amendments to the county’s shoreland management ordinance (No. 17) will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday, May 26 at the Hubbard County Government Center. An additional hearing will be held Thursday, May 27, if needed.

A public hearing about changes to the subdivision ordinance (No. 35) will occur at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 18. The hearing will be held in the county board room. The public is invited to attend in person or virtually to present oral comment. Citizens may send written comments of the proposed amendments to Jeff Cadwell, Administrator at 301 Court Ave, Park Rapids, MN 56470.

The board already scheduled a public hearing at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 4 for minor changes to the county’s subsurface sewage treatment system ordinance (No. 41) and sign ordinance (No. 34).

STR owner comments

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Jim Crabbe, whose family owns property on Big Mantrap Lake, spoke during the public input portion of the board meeting.

“We appreciate that short-term rentals seem to have created problems for some property owners in Hubbard County and we appreciate the effort to address those concerns. No one wants their peaceful lakeside existence by a constantly revolving door next to them, with too many people packed into a small space, making too much noise and exceeding the capacities of the septic tanks,” he said. “We don’t want these presumed issues occurring either; however, we are concerned that the ordinance we’ve been reviewing is casting the net too wide.”

Crabbe noted his neighbor has never had an issue with his renters, who are often families with small children.

“Our family is not wealthy,” Crabbe continued. “We have opened up the property for a limited number of rental weeks to help pay for our taxes and maintain the property. That is our only goal.”

Crabbe asked county commissioners to remember that STR guests provide revenue for businesses and add to the tax base.