Madison property owners wanting to cash in on websites offering short-term rentals must consider new regulations after a Madison City Council measure passed Tuesday.
On a voice vote, council members adopted an ordinance that classifies homes used for short-term rentals through websites such as Airbnb and VRBO (Vacation Rentals by Owner) as a “tourist rooming house.” Under state law, tourist rooming houses
must be licensed by a health department and pay room taxes just as hotels and bed and breakfasts do.
The ordinance also requires that the rental home be the operator’s primary residence and limits the property to 30 days of rental per year if the owner is not occupying the home while it’s being rented. Homeowners are exempted from the day limit if they are home at the time of rental.
Previously, homeowners renting under Airbnb or VRBO were in violation of the city’s zoning codes for conditional use.
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Council members have informally discussed the issue for months with city staff but action was expedited when University Football Rentals, a South Bend, Ind., company, placed flyers at homes near Camp Randall Stadium, attempting to lure homeowners into renting their properties on football weekends.
Council members also unanimously approved a major renovation to Hilldale Shopping Center on the city’s Near West Side.
WS Development, the Massachusetts company that owns and operates the 55-store, 475,000-square-foot mall, proposed a $15 million renovation, which would create an open-air, “streetscape” corridor from Metcalfe’s to Macy’s on the east side of the mall. It would add another from the east side of the mall to the west parking lot where a Quiznos restaurant had been located.
WS Development, described by its partners as the ninth-largest privately held owner of shopping centers nationwide, purchased Hilldale in a sheriff’s foreclosure sale for $52 million in 2012. It owns about 80 shopping centers, mostly on the East Coast.