Letter to the Editor: STR Ordinance Would Offer Local Protections

The Sevastopol Board of Supervisors is reviewing a proposal for a Short Term Rental (STRs) Ordinance. I commend the plan committee and board of supervisors for recognizing the need for STR regulation and licensing. In the Jan. 29 Peninsula Pulse, Jonathan A. Salit addressed his concerns about STR regulations. Here’s why they’re necessary.

In this state, hotels and other lodging facilities are regulated, pay taxes, and are licensed via Wisconsin Chapter 97. The approximately 67 Sevastopol short-term rentals are not and do not. Hotels and lodging facilities pay taxes through the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP). Recently, only 53 percent of STRs in Sevastopol paid taxes to the DATCP. Without the regulations of this ordinance, Sevastopol will lose tax dollars it’s owed.

In Door County, short-term rentals have had the effect of pulling long-term rentals off the market, decreasing the availability of affordable housing and increasing the cost for potential home buyers.

A recent study of STRs in Sevastopol indicates that only 36 percent of them are owned locally. Many absentee owners own multiple properties in the area but live in a different state and may not address property problems or emergencies in a timely manner. Generally, hotels and lodging facilities have on-site management and maintenance capability.

Other concerns about unregulated STRs are overcapacity Private Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems, increased traffic, and limited off-street parking in residential neighborhoods. Noise and other nuisances from units with guests and vehicles in excess of capacity are common issues. The Sevastopol board has a responsibility to protect the property rights of its tax-paying residents. The proposed and defeated Quarry RV Village is a perfect example: If 117 RVs and small homes had been rented there on a short-term basis without regulation, it would have been a property and environmental catastrophe. 

Learn more about STRs at, and share your

opinion with the board of supervisors.

Sherry Mutchler

Sevastopol, Wisconsin