Public feedback wanted on County's proposed rules for short term (vacation home) rentals

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Planning & Community Development Department • Government Services Center

320 West Second Street, Suite 301 • Duluth, MN 55802

Phone: (218) 725-5000 • Toll Free in Minnesota: 1 (800) 450-9777 



Darren Jablonsky

Interim Director




September 4, 2019

MEDIA CONTACT: Jenny Bourbonais, Planning Manager



Public feedback wanted on County's proposed rules for short term (vacation home) rentals

With the continued growth in popularity of vacation rental options like Airbnb and VRBO, St. Louis County has been working to ensure these short term rentals are managed in the best possible way for the property owners, neighbors and visitors.


After gathering input, and reviewing the need, St. Louis County has drafted proposed changes to its zoning ordinance to allow for short term vacation home rentals. The St. Louis County Planning Commission approved the draft changes for public review at its August meeting and to gather public feedback. The ordinance amendments with the proposed changes highlighted, is available online at


The proposed revisions to St. Louis County Zoning Ordinance 62 would allow for short term rental of properties through the issuance of permits. The goal is to ensure minimal disruption to neighbors and the environment by setting requirements for septic, parking and posting of rules; while also requiring appropriate licensing to ensure a safe experience for guests.


Anyone wishing to provide comment on the proposed changes can email Planning Manager Jenny Bourbonais at or by mail to: Planning and Community Development Department, Northland Office Center 307 1st St S, Ste 117, Virginia, MN 55792. The deadline to submit comments is September 30, 2019. The Planning Commission will consider all comments and testimony at a public hearing on October 10.


Public input received during development of the St. Louis County Comprehensive Land Use Plan strongly supported this review to improve the regulation of short term rentals. A number of St. Louis County services play a role in the short term rental market, including property classification and assessment, land use administration, and on-site sewage treatment compliance.


The zoning ordinance and proposed changes apply to any areas where St. Louis County is the zoning authority. Cities and certain townships with their own zoning authorities would not be affected.