[Adopted as Sec. 7.12 of the prior Code; amended in its entirety 11-1-2018 by Ord. No. 18-16]
It is the purpose of this article to ensure that the quality of short-term rentals operating within the Town is adequate for protecting the health, safety and general welfare, including establishing minimum standards of space for human occupancy, and for an adequate level of maintenance; determining the responsibilities of owners, operators and property managers offering properties for tourists and transient occupants, to protect the character and stability of all areas, especially residential areas, within the Town of Rome; to provide minimum standards necessary for the health and safety of persons occupying or using buildings, structures or premises; and provisions for the administration and enforcement thereof.
No person may maintain, manage or operate a short-term rental in the Town of Rome for more than 10 nights in a 365-day period, without a short-term rental license. "Short-term rental" shall mean a residential dwelling that is offered for rent or a fee and for a duration of less than 29 consecutive days. Every short-term rental shall be operated by a property owner or property manager. Short-term rentals of six or fewer consecutive days in duration are prohibited.
All applications for a short-term rental license shall be filed with the Town Clerk/Treasurer on a form provided by the Town and approved by the Town Board. Applications must be filed by the property owner or authorized agent. No permit shall be issued unless the completed application form is accompanied by payment of the required short-term rental license fee.
The Clerk/Treasurer shall issue a short-term rental license to all applicants following the approval of an application and the filing of all documents and records required under § 234-58 of this article. Issuance of a short-term rental license under this article will be deemed as meeting the requirement of obtaining a business license under Article V, Business License, of this chapter.
Before an applicant may be issued a short-term rental license, the applicant shall first provide:
Identity of the property owner and any property manager (if applicable), with contact information including mailing address, physical address, email, and twenty-four-hour phone number.
A copy of tourist rooming house permit from the State of Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection under ATCP 72.04.
A copy of a current, completed State Lodging Establishment Inspection form.
Proof of casualty and liability insurance issued by an insurance company authorized to do business in the state of Wisconsin, identifying the property as used for short-term rental, with liability limits of not less than $300,000 per individual and $1,000,000 aggregate.
Floor plan of the proposed property for rental, and requested maximum occupancy.
Site plan including available on-site parking.
Proof of an annual general building and fire inspection is required prior to issuance or renewal of the license, with no outstanding compliance orders remaining.
A room tax permit issued by the Town of Rome.
An employer identification number issued by the Internal Revenue Service or social security number.
Certification from the property owner that the property meets the requirements of this article.
During the initial application process, the Town Zoning Administrator shall notify property owners within a two-hundred-foot radius of an applicant's proposed rental property lot, of an applicant's intention to operate a short-term rental in the Town of Rome. Notification of property owners shall not be required for renewal of a license as long as there is no lapse in license renewal.
An annual fee shall be set by the Town Board. Fees are nonrefundable and shall not be prorated. Any renewal application received after the expiration date may be subject to a double fee.
All licenses granted shall be for one calendar year, and shall be renewed on an annual basis on or before June 30 of each year. The fee shall accompany the application for license renewal. Any property operating as a short-term rental which has not renewed the short-term rental license prior to this date shall be deemed an illegal operation.
Each application for renewal of a permit or license shall include updated information for the documentation on file with the Town Clerk/Treasurer. The Clerk/Treasurer shall verify that the information provided on the renewal application is complete and in accordance with this article. The Clerk/Treasurer shall request reports from the Town of Rome Police Department and the Zoning Administrator regarding any complaints received, calls for service or actions taken regarding the short-term rental property. The Clerk/Treasurer shall issue renewal licenses within 30 days of the filing of an application unless the information provided is incomplete or otherwise not in compliance with the requirements herein, and/or the staff reports received indicate that there are complaints or actions involving the property.
No license shall be renewed if the subject property has outstanding fees, taxes or forfeitures owed to the Town, or is under an order issued by the Building Inspector to bring the premises into compliance with Town ordinances, unless arrangements for payment have been provided to the Clerk/Treasurer and approved by the Town Administrator.
Each short-term rental shall comply with this section's requirements, along with all other Town of Rome ordinances. Each short-term rental shall meet the following minimum requirements:
The maximum number of occupants allowed in any unit shall not exceed the following limits: not less than 150 square feet of floor space for the first occupant thereof, and at least an additional 100 square feet of floor space for every additional occupant thereof; the floor space shall be calculated on the basis of total habitable room area. Floor space is determined by using interior measurements of each room. Floor space does not include kitchens, bathrooms, closets, garages or rooms not meeting Uniform Dwelling Code requirements for occupancy. The maximum occupancy for any premises without a separate enclosed bedroom is two people.
One internal bathroom for every four occupants.
Not less than two on-site off-street parking space for every four occupants based upon maximum occupancy.
A sign shall be posted in a conspicuous place inside the rental unit, during the license duration, specifying information on approved parking spaces, Town regulations of discharge of fireworks as designated in Chapter 196, Fireworks, of the Code of the Town of Rome, lake rules, limitations on loud and unnecessary noise as designated in Chapter 260, Noise, of the Code of the Town of Rome, and Town burning regulations under Chapter 191, Fires and Fire Prevention.
Shall have functional smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in accordance with the requirements of Chapter SPS 321 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code.
No vehicular traffic shall be generated that is greater than normally expected in the neighborhood for the district for which the dwelling is zoned.
There shall not be excessive noise, fumes, glare, or vibrations generated during the use of the dwelling as a short-term rental.
Nameplates or other outdoor signage shall not exceed one square foot. No other signage advertising the short-term rental is permitted on site.
Each short-term rental shall maintain the following written records for each rental of the dwelling unit: the full name and current address of any person renting the property, the time period for that rental, and the monetary amount or consideration paid for that rental. Quarterly, on a form created and provided by the Town, every licensee shall certify and report to the Town a summary of these records.
Whenever the Town Clerk/Treasurer has probable cause to believe that records submitted are not correct, or that probable cause exists to believe that a dwelling unit is not in compliance with this article, the Town Clerk/Treasurer may inspect and audit the written records for each rental of the dwelling unit to determine compliance with the requirements of this article.
A short-term rental license may be revoked by the Town Administrator for one or more of the following reasons:
Failure to make payment on taxes or debt owed to the Town of Rome.
Three or more police officer-verified violations in a twelve-month period for nuisance activities or other law violations as regulated in Chapters 57, Article I; 115; 120, Article I; 125, Article II; 142; 176; 185; 196; 220; 225; 240; 260; 266; 281; 287, Articles II and III. Lake violations that result from use of the property owner's watercraft shall also qualify for revocation under this section.
Three or more issued citations related to building inspection or the health department in a twelve-month period.
Failure to comply with applicable building inspection requirements.
Failure to maintain all required local, county, and state licensing requirements.
Any violation of local, county or state laws that substantially harm or adversely impact the predominantly residential uses and nature of the surrounding neighborhood in R-1, R-1C, R-2, R-4, and LD Districts.
Upon revocation of a short-term rental license under this section, a renewal application will not be permitted until after January 1 of the next calendar year.
The denial of a short-term rental license application or renewal under this article may be appealed by filing a written appeal request with the Clerk/Treasurer within 10 days of the Town's notice of denial. The appeal shall be heard by the Town Board, which shall consider the application or renewal and staff recommendations and may approve or deny the application or renewal.
Any person who operates a short-term rental within the Town of Rome for more than 10 nights in a 365-day period, without a license, shall be deemed an illegal operation, and upon conviction, be subject to a forfeiture per § 1-5, General penalty, together with the costs of prosecution. Each day a violation exists or continues shall constitute a separate offense. Prosecutions of violations of provisions of this article shall be commenced by citation pursuant to Chapter 800, Wis. Stats.