Crosslake now considering contracting with county for short-term rentals

Council was poised to adopt its own city ordinance and will still work toward that


CROSSLAKE — Crosslake keeps trying but just can’t nail it, instead going around and around on how to regulate short-term vacation home rentals in the city.

The city council’s most recent decision came Monday, March 20, when it opted not to adopt a draft city ordinance.

Instead, the council voted 4-1 to look at what Crow Wing County is offering to regulate such properties and possibly contract with the county for a year while the council further explores how to enforce its own ordinance.

If there’s a problem with it we can always meet again and change it (ordinance).
Dave Nevin, Crosslake mayor

Mayor Dave Nevin, who cast the no vote, reminded the council it could change the ordinance at any time. He preferred to adopt the city’s draft ordinance.

“If there’s a problem with it we can always meet again and change it,” Nevin said.


At issue, council member Marcia Seibert-Volz said Monday, as well as at the March 13 regular council meeting, is that the city isn’t ready to enact its ordinance.

The city doesn’t have staff to investigate complaints or enforce regulations, she said, opting at both meetings to contract with the county for a year so Crosslake can iron out what needs to be done to enforce its own ordinance.

We’ll be worse if not as bad as the county if we don’t have anyone to regulate.
Jackson Purfeerst, Crosslake City Council member

Council member Jackson Purfeerst agreed.

“We’ll be worse if not as bad as the county if we don’t have anyone to regulate,” he said.

The council also voted 5-0 to develop a job description for a person to regulate rentals.

Nevin’s idea to approve the draft city ordinance with a June 15 start date failed 3-2 with council member Sandy Farder voting with Nevin for that suggestion.

Nevin’s suggestion to approve the draft ordinance with a higher occupancy limit also failed.

Over the past couple of years, the city council has heard from many different short-term vacation home rental owners, a couple of rental management company representatives and people who live next door to problem rentals.


After Crow Wing County licensed and regulated such rentals in 2022, the county board changed course to allow cities with planning and zoning departments to either contract with the county for oversight, or adopt their own ordinance to regulate rentals.

Crosslake has long been unhappy with the county’s oversight and response as the city continues to hear from people with complaints about some rentals.

If everyone was good operators we wouldn’t be here.
Dave Nevin, Crosslake mayor

So the city had staff develop a draft city ordinance regulating rentals. The council met Monday to adopt a final revision, but instead went around and around again, hearing from another short-term rental owner, a short-term rental management company representative, and other owners of short-term rentals in the city who provided written comments by attending the one-hour, 40-minute meeting online via Zoom.

Jane Trent, who owns short-term rentals in Crosslake, including a larger home, pleaded her case as a responsible renter with no complaints from neighbors and who thinks Crow Wing County’s ordinance works.

“If everyone was good operators we wouldn’t be here,” Nevin said, later saying that contracting with the county will lead Crosslake to another year of doing nothing.

“We made that commitment (city ordinance) a year ago when we told the people the county would take it over and we’d step in if they didn’t do a good job,” he said.

Find recordings of Crosslake City Council meetings on the city's YouTube channel.

Nancy Vogt, editor, may be reached at 218-855-5877 or . Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter at

Nancy Vogt is editor of the Pineandlakes Echo Journal, a weekly newspaper that covers eight communities in the Pequot Lakes-Pine River areas - from Nisswa to Hackensack and Pequot Lakes to Crosslake.

She started as editor of the Lake Country Echo in July 2006, and continued in that role when the Lake Country Echo and the Pine River Journal combined in September 2013 to become the Pineandlakes Echo Journal. She worked for the Brainerd Dispatch from 1992-2006 in various roles.

She covers Nisswa, Pequot Lakes, Lake Shore and Crosslake city councils, as well as writes feature stories, news stories and personal columns (Vogt's Notes). She also takes photos at community events.

Contact her at or 218-855-5877 with story ideas or questions. Be sure to leave a voicemail message!
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