Crosslake poised to adopt its own short-term home rental policy

City council will meet Monday, March 20, in hopes of adopting ordinance


CROSSLAKE — Crosslake is poised to have its own short-term vacation rental policy.

The city council considered an updated draft policy at its regular meeting Monday, March 13, and agreed a few changes are needed.

Rather than adopt the policy Monday, the council decided first to look at an updated draft. The council will have a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. Monday, March 20, with hopes to adopt the ordinance.

Talking points included having short-term rental home contact information handy for neighbors, and setting a time for home inspections to be done so as not to cause a backlog.

City Attorney Brad Person told the council it can and likely will make changes to the ordinance at any time as the city learns by doing.


“Whatever you pass, look at it after the first season and make necessary changes,” he said.

Several short-term rental owners asked the council for clarification on some provisions in the draft ordinance.

The council does not yet have a license fee or start day for city licenses to be required. The draft ordinance includes the following:

  • A license will be required from the city for a nonrefundable fee, and the license must be renewed annually.
  • Existing Vrbos would have a 90-day grace period to obtain a city license.
  • The city will require an on-site inspection to verify compliance of such items as windows, smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, parking, access to the site, noise, exterior changes, septic systems.
  • Maximum nighttime occupancy is two people per bedroom up to a maximum of 12 guests, excluding children under 12.
  • Daytime occupancy is one and a half times the maximum number of occupants allowed to stay overnight, excluding children under 12.
  • Occupancy limits can’t exceed septic occupancy design limits.
  • The homeowner must keep guest records.
  • Each short-term rental must designate and list a local representative who lives within 30 miles of city limits who will respond in a timely manner if needed.
  • There must be a fire safety plan.
  • The license number must be posted at the property.
  • The owner must pay a short-term rental lodging tax if the rental is less than 30 days.
  • The owner must pay a Whitefish Area Lodging Association 1% lodging tax used to market the area.
  • Health and life safety inspections signed by the city fire department and building department will be required.
  • The applicant must submit a site plan of the property showing parking, driveways, structures, outdoor recreational areas that guests can use, and submit a floor plan of the residence identifying which rooms are used as guest bedrooms or sleeping areas.
  • A first violation within a 12-month period will result in a warning; a second violation within a 12-month period will result in a civil penalty in an amount the council establishes; a third violation within a 12-month period means the license will be revoked.

The city is currently in limbo regarding short-term rentals because it hasn’t opted to have the county license such properties and hasn’t enacted its own ordinance.
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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