LORAIN, Ohio (WJW) – Trashed beaches and wild parties have Lorain City Council taking action now to rein in short-term rental properties before summer arrives.
“These are businesses that have encroached on normally quiet, serene, tranquil neighborhoods and have become very disruptive,” said Lorain City Council-at-Large Mary Springowski.
Springowski counted about 70 properties currently posted on the internet as short-term rentals.
And that’s concerning, she says, after seeing a growing number of problems associated with the homes in recent years, from pets running loose to advertising the wrong address and large, loud nuisance parties.
“One rental that evolved into a wild party, that became a riot and the police had to disperse it,” said Springowski.
There are other safety issues too, from visitors illegally blocking roads to trespassing and littering on private beaches.
“They’ve brought in equipment such as trailers or boats and campers and have blocked driveways and roads where service vehicles such as ambulances and fire trucks haven’t been able to get through,” she said.
Monday council decided to take action and announced that they will be reviewing legislation from other communities that have experienced similar issues and then craft their own new laws for lorain.
“We want to acknowledge you are a business and should be regulated as such with bonding and licensing just like if it was a hotel, and they also need to be taxed as businesses,” she said.
Ohio State Lawmakers are also currently considering legislation that would make it illegal to ban short-term rentals, which could potentially impact Lorain’s efforts.
Springowski says, if it passes, they are prepared to battle Columbus because, as a “home rule” state, they have the right to create municipal rules for their city.
She says everyone is welcome in Lorain. They just want both visitors and residents to be able to feel safe and enjoy the waterfront.
“We want you to come, we want you to visit, we just want you to be considerate of the neighbors,” said Springowski.