A Crosslake resident asked that the city council take up discussion of short-term rental properties, citing many problems in his Sandy Shores Lane neighborhood.
“I know I can fill this room with neighbors who want to come in here and talk about issues with these things,” Jeff Pfaff told the council at its regular meeting Monday, July 12. He said there are issues every week in his neighborhood.
The city doesn’t have its own short-term rental ordinance, but uses the Crow Wing County ordinance that went into effect in January. The council planned to see how that worked for a year.
"We have neighbors ready to leave Crosslake because of the issues that are occurring."
— Jeff Pfaff, Crosslake
Pfaff was advised to call the rental home owner and Crow Wing County. He said that’s been done, the landlord is not receptive, and he thinks the city must step up and do something.
Planning and Zoning Administrator Jon Kolstad said if there are problems with short-term rentals, residents must tell the police so the problems can be documented.
“We have neighbors ready to leave Crosslake because of the issues that are occurring,” Pfaff said, noting issues include partying, too many parked cars, dogs running wild, Jet Skis out past the lawful time and other unlawful behavior.
“I didn’t want to be that neighbor. Now I have to be that neighbor,” Pfaff said. “I think this is something that’s only going to get worse. It isn’t going to get better.”
Mayor Dave Nevin said there are good short-term rental property owners, so the bad ones should be weeded out.
"I know I can fill this room with neighbors who want to come in here and talk about issues with these things (vacation rental properties)."
— Jeff Pfaff, Crosslake
Also during open forum, Jerome Volz told the council there is graffiti under the bridge near C&C Boat Works that should have been removed by now. City staff will contact Crow Wing County again about this.
Planning and zoning
After approving one right of way vacation request and tabling another, the council agreed to Kolstad’s request to form a committee to develop criteria and a policy for such requests that is standard, fair and consistent.
The committee will include city staff and two council members, and members of the public can apply to be involved.
The council agreed to handle right of way vacation requests as they are submitted while the committee does its work.
The council did approve a request to vacate the 33-foot public right of way located adjacent to the Parsons’ and Kobs’ properties on Norway Trail with a setback condition. During a public hearing, several people spoke in support of the request.
And the council tabled a request from Mike and Lisa Rocca on Manhattan Point Boulevard to vacate 20 feet of road right of way. During a public hearing, two residents spoke in opposition to the request. The council wants to study this further.
The council hired Adam Casanova as a part-time officer to cover shifts after learning police officer Adam Lane resigned effective July 17 to take a position with the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office. Casanova also works part time for Pequot Lakes.
“We have to figure out how we become a place to stay instead of a place to train officers,” Police Chief Erik Lee said.
The council accepted a donation of four automated external defibrillators for the police department from Stephanie Neumann.
Police reported that in June they had 227 incidents in Crosslake and 51 in Mission Township. Crosslake activity included 14 agency assists, two assaults, one burglary, one damage to property, four disturbances, one fire, five noise complaints, one personal injury accident, nine property damage accidents, two thefts, four traffic arrests and 64 traffic citations.
Mission Township activity included two agency assists, two burglaries, two thefts, one traffic arrest, seven traffic citations and 28 traffic stops.
The fire department had 39 calls in June, including 29 medical calls and one grass fire.
In other business Monday, the council:
Appointed Joel Knippel as an alternate to the planning and zoning commission. The council recognized the late Dale Melberg for his service on the commission from 2008-2013 and on the public works commission from 2015-2021.
Allowed several proposed revisions to the city’s land use ordinance to go out for public comment.
Agreed to support the city becoming a Heart Safe Community.
Learned of proposed assessments for a sewer extension to Moonlite Bay. Assessments to single-family residential properties are proposed to be be $7,000. Commercial assessments are proposed to be 35 cents per square foot. Assessment payments would be over 20 years.
Discussed were fair ways to assess larger parcels of commercial property.
Also, property owners with a septic system that is less than 10 years old would be required to connect to the extension before their system is 11 years old. Property owners with a septic older than 10 years would have one year to hook up to the extension.
Public hearings will be held on the proposed assessments. The council did not authorize them.
Nancy Vogt may be reached at 218-855-5877 or email@example.com. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Nancy.