City to Review Rules for Airbnb

Marshfield, WI (OnFocus) The City of Marshfield will review its regulations for operating an Airbnb within the city.

Airbnb is an online marketplace that allows property owners to rent out rooms or entire homes to tourists. Under current regulations, the city defines a Airbnb home as a “tourist house” which is only permitted in mixed-use districts.

This requires property owners in a residential district to pay fees to rezone their property and apply for a conditional use permit.

“The code we have right now, when it talks about tourist homes, doesn’t really anticipate the kind of use we’re seeing today,” said City Administrator Steve Barg during Tuesday’s Common Council meeting.

About a dozen Marshfield stays are currently listed on the Airbnb website.

Alderman Rebecca Spiros inquired whether a background check on guests should be listed in the code. Alderman Chris Jockheck said those opening up their homes do checks and that Airbnb allows both the host and the guest to leave reviews of each other.

Barg said applying room tax to Airbnb would also be studied as part of the review of the code.

A motion to send the matter onto the Plan Commission passed unanimously.