Posted by: Patricia Salkin | August 30, 2012

8th Cir. Court of Appeals Upholds Zoning Ordinance Preventing Short-Term Rentals

In 2009, the Aamodts set out to purchase a second home in which they would rent out for short-term periods to offset some of the costs. They researched the zoning laws prior to purchasing and found no restrictions against short-term rentals. They bought the home without having been aware of the 2008 ordinance that expressly prohibits short-term rentals in that area since it was filed in a non-traditional way. The Aamodts sued the City of Norfolk, Arkansas over the ordinance since it was filed with the City Clerk and not the CountyRecorder like other ordinances.

The Aamodts first base their claim on the rationale that it violates the City’s 1995 zoning ordinance. The court found that the ordinance was valid since the statute only required that it be passed by a majority vote of the city council, which it was. Additionally, the plaintiffs claim that the ordinance is invalid since it does not contain a map. However, the authority they cite only applies to a “comprehensive zoning ordinance.” In this instance the entire area of the municipality is not affected and it therefore does not apply.

Aamodt v City of Norfolk, 682 F. 3d 735 (8th Cir. 6/25/2012)

The opinion can be accessed at: http://www.ca8.uscourts.gov/opns/opFrame.html


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