Cities of Custer, Hill City ban residential vacation home rentals

Both bans come after many concerns, including the lack of the city's workforce housing.

BLACK HILLS, S.D. — Black Hills area towns are cracking down on vacation home rentals.

Through an initiated measure on Tuesday, Hill City residents voted 158 to 138 to ban vacation homes in the city residential areas.

“We’re landlocked. This is what we have. If it all goes away to vacation homes, that’s what we get,” said Angie Ross, a Hill City resident.

Ross brought the measure forward, citing many concerns for the community’s housing market for families and its workforce.

“If we keep allowing vacation homes to eat up our residential housing, that goes away,” Ross said. “We don’t have kids moving in. We don’t have families moving in. I love the retired people moving in, but we can’t have people building homes in Hill City just to rent out.

The Hill City ban comes as the Custer City Council voted 3 to 2 to amend an ordinance it passed in 2018 — effectively banning short-term rental units in residential areas.

In Custer, there are currently 27 short-term rentals that will be grandfathered in. But if the properties are sold, the conditional-use permits won’t transfer.

City officials say it’s about protecting full-time residents and their property.

“We don’t want a town that’s just visitors,” said Peg Ryan, a City of Custer Alderman. “We want people that actually live here and are interested in what goes on in the community, and contribute in whatever way they feel they want to.”

Opponents, like Lori Svoboda of Western Skies Real Estate, says they’re working to put a referendum together to change the ordinance on November’s ballot. The referendum will need a total of about 80 signatures.

Due to the current ordinance before the ban, since 2018, only six short-term rentals have been added in the City of Custer.

“Right now we do already have ordinances that are in place, and they’re very strict. And it’s really hard to get through that ordinance to get the conditional use permit,” Svoboda said.

The Hill City ban is currently in place, while the Custer ordinance goes into effect 20 days after it’s first printed in the city’s newspaper. Neither ban extends to commercial areas.

Vacation Rental Ban 1

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