Lafayette City Council unanimously passed a resolution establishing a $200 short-term rental application and licensing fee.
In September the Council adopted regulations to address short-term rentals, defined as rentals for guest housing for less than 30 days. The regulations established zoning and licensing procedures, which took effect on Monday.
Phil Kleisler, principal planner, said with the regulation now in effect, each short-term rental in Lafayette is required to get a Short-term Rental License and a Sales and Use Tax license.
The license fee is $200 and is valid for two years. Kleisler said the fee could be adjusted based on how much staff time is needed to review the license applications.
“(The resolution) requires a home being offered as a short-term rental to be the person’s primary residence or usual place of return. What this does, it means that it can’t be someone’s second home,” Kleisler said. He said this prevents companies or individuals from buying multiple properties to only be used as short-term rentals and helps with Lafayette’s housing market.
Kleisler said one of the main concerns the city heard from residents is ensuring homes do not turn into full-time hotels in residential areas.
Councilmember Nicole Samson confirmed that individuals who had a short-term rental prior to the new year will need to go through the licensing application process. Kleisler said the city will reach out to owners who participated in the review process for short-term rentals to educate them on the new process, and will evaluate later in the year if there is a large disconnect between the city’s list of short-term rentals and what is shown online through sites like AirBnB and VRBO.
More information is available at lafayetteco.gov/3959/Short-Term-Rentals.
Starting in the new year, and to be reflected in February water utility bills, the monthly water service fee and as well as the water-use rate will increase.
Public Works Director Jeff Arthur said the average single-family home can expect a $6 increase to winter water bills, and a larger increase in summer due to irrigation. Arthur said the increase will help the city fund infrastructure needs.
The Council also unanimously approved starting a program with Sister Carmen Resource Center to start the partnership to provide a monthly reduction of $7.50 for qualified residents. More information will be available at lafayetteco.gov/2719/Water-Rate-Fees once the program begins.
Arthur acknowledged how the increase may be a burden to some families, and the program aims to help residents most in need of financial assistance. Residents must be a Lafayette water utility customer and be solely responsible for their utility bill to qualify for assistance. In the program’s first year, residents 62 and older and people on fixed incomes will be prioritized.