BAYFIELD, WI (WTAQ) - One of northern Wisconsin’s top tourist spots has decided to scrap controversial limits on bed and breakfast places.
The City Council in Bayfield is expected next Monday to repeal restrictions imposed last summer. That was when the city required bed and breakfast owners to use their business addresses on their driver’s licenses, and to be registered voters in Bayfield.
But the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty filed suit on behalf of two bed and breakfast owners. And the city has recently agreed to strike down key parts of the measure.
Bruce and Barb Hoekstra – who wanted to sell their 12-year-old business – said the restrictions unduly limit their potential buyers. And their lawyer said a number of Bayfield officials or their relatives own bed and breakfasts – and they’re just trying to protect their share of the market.
But Mayor Larry McDonald disputes that. He said the ordinance was only meant to protect neighborhoods in Bayfield, whose winter population of 500 grows by several thousand during the summer.
State law already requires bed and breakfast owners to use their personal homes – and the owners must live there when rooms are rented.