Short-term rentals on county's radar for Tuesday meeting

The Beltrami County Board of Commissioners will discuss options related to short-term rental rules Tuesday.

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BEMIDJI -- The Beltrami County Board of Commissioners will discuss options related to short-term rental rules Tuesday.

During its work session, the board will be given a presentation from the County Assessor's Office and the Environmental Services Department on the subject. According to county documents, there have been several complaints made regarding short-term rental properties in the county.

The rentals include homes and sections of homes that are rented for a period of fewer than 30 days. They are commonly known as Airbnbs or VRBOs (Vacation Rental by Owner) in reference to two companies that assist property owners in renting their homes.

In 2018, the Greater Bemidji Area Joint Planning Board voted to ban short-term vacation rentals in the city and Northern Township. The move was based on concerns and complaints from neighbors.

Four existing short-term rentals in the JPB's jurisdiction were grandfathered in as part of the ordinance language that banned future rentals. On Tuesday, the commissioners will review what other local governments have done and what options are available to the county.


Later in the meeting, the Natural Resource Management office will discuss the future of a 230-acre tax-forfeited piece of land. A proposal has been created to make the land into a recreation area.

The land, located in the city of Wilton, as well as Grant Valley and Eckles Townships, would have the following rules:

  • Park hours would be from sunrise to sunset for day use, with no overnight camping.
  • No target shooting.
  • It would be open to hunting, but only portable deer stands are allowed.
  • All garbage is to be removed and disposed of by users.
  • No person will operate a motor vehicle or snowmobile in areas that are designated as non-motorized.
  • Pets will be personally attended to at all times.
  • The area would be governed by Forest Management under the Beltrami County Parks and Recreation.

The board will also hear updates on the Beltrami County Historical Society and the Public Health department. The county work session starts at 3 p.m. and can be watched on YouTube.

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