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Ballwin to study placing controls on temporary rentals

By: Jim Erickson

Although current ordinances do not specifically permit them, temporary rentals of Ballwin homes exist and the city has received “a handful” of complaints about them, mostly related to parking issues.

In his report at the Nov. 13 Ballwin Board of Aldermen meeting, City Administrator Eric Hanson reviewed the situation and asked the board for its direction.

As other city leaders in St. Louis County have learned, addressing an issue conflicted by the rights of property owners who want to rent all or part of their home to transient visitors versus the rights of neighbors does not have one easy answer.

Hanson noted that Chesterfield recently banned the practice, while Ellisville permits it, albeit with a number of controls also in place. Maplewood, Hanson said, developed a comprehensive ordinance on the topic several years ago.

The practice of renting out all or a portion of a residence has gained traction in recent years, and the Airbnb website has become a popular destination both for owners wanting to offer their property for rent and those looking for such accommodations.

Entering “Ballwin, MO” on the website’s search tool brings up photos of a number of properties in the area, offering everything from a private bedroom with one bed for $35 a night to an entire house for $700 nightly.

Alderman Frank Fleming [Ward 3] noted it could become a question of what governmental entity decides to take charge of the issue. Alderman Mark Stallmann [Ward 2] conceded that he’s not sure now what the answer is but asserted something should be done because having no controls at all is not a good option.

City Attorney Bob Jones observed subdivision indentures could provide an answer in some locations, assuming subdivision trustees choose to enforce them.

The aldermen made no final decisions, pending a review of the Chesterfield, Ellisville and Maplewood ordinances that Hanson agreed to send to them.

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