Sevastopol Poised to Act on STR Ordinance

After more than a year of work, public input, deliberation and much contention, the Town of Sevastopol’s short-term-rental (STR) property ordinance will be up for a vote during the town board’s July 19 meeting.

“It has to be reviewed one last time by our attorney, and I’ll bring it back for action in July,” said Town Board Chair Dan Woelfel during the board’s June 21 meeting.

The ordinance has been tweaked here and there during the past few months, but the most controversial provision that limits rental opportunities remains within the draft. If the ordinance passes as it stands, the town would allow STR owners to rent their properties only once a week. 

STR owners have condemned that provision from the beginning, saying it’s discriminatory and would put them out of business or, at minimum, limit their income. One local group – Door Vacation Property Rentals – has threatened to take legal action. 

The town board has not budged on that provision. Meanwhile, the local residents who have voiced support for it, and the ordinance itself, say the provision would minimize the “churn” that’s harming the quality of life in residential neighborhoods. 

“It was the consensus of the plan commission that this would be the final draft, pending any final recommendations or input from the attorney,” said Linda Wait, chair of the plan commission and a town board supervisor, during the board’s June 21 meeting.

The town board has the final say. That body has now discussed the ordinance twice – during the May and June meetings – but it has never officially weighed in on what it intends. 

Woelfel asked Wait during the June 21 meeting to have everything prepared before July: Frequently Asked Questions, the two-page application form and the draft resolution on the fees that would accompany the STR ordinance.