Neighbors detail impacts of large, loud parties at rented residential pools 


The Carmel Plan Commission held a public hearing April 16 on a proposal to limit the short-term rental of residential pools, pickleball courts and other non-dwelling spaces.

Carmel City Councilor Jeff Worrell is among those who initiated the changes after hearing concerns from constituents whose neighbors had rented outdoor spaces through online sites that operate like popular short-term home rental companies Airbnb and Vrbo.

“We’re getting these adult, loud, scantily-clad crazy parties going on in cul-de-sacs,” Worrell said.

Andrea Vanderpool, a resident of Springmill Ridge, said her family is dealing with the impact of a residential pool at a neighboring property being rented out for up to four parties per day.

“I’m a mom of four daughters, and we have to look out our windows every day in the summer to decide if it’s OK for our girls to go color on our sidewalk or to go out in our driveway,” she said. “There’s a constant inflow of strangers, and this home has been turned into a place of business. Instead of a residential cul-de-sac, it’s become a commercial cul-de-sac.”

Springmill Ridge resident Susan Hansen said some of the parties are for sports teams competing in events at Grand Park in Westfield.

“It gets really loud,” she said. “You can imagine how big a soccer team and all their parents drinking after a game can be.”

Other concerns are a large number of vehicles frequently parked along both sides of the street, trash left behind and sometimes fireworks shot off by the visitors.

Several years ago, Carmel created an approval process and guidelines for short-term rentals of dwellings, and a similar process has been proposed for non-dwelling short-term rentals.

Proposed regulations include:

  • Approval of a special exception permit to rent out the space
  • Requiring the permanent resident to be on the property at all times during the rental period
  • Requiring the permanent resident to have premises liability insurance of at least $1 million
  • Limiting rental hours from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Limiting the group size gathering at the rented area to be no more than 10 people

Carmel City Councilor Shannon Minnaar, who also serves on the plan commission, said she supports the proposal.

“I think having the right ordinance on the books, having the city be the big stick in this situation – especially for neighborhoods that don’t have the compunction to ratify covenants – is a great thing,” she said.

Neighborhoods with homeowners associations can ban short-term rentals in their covenants, but altering the covenants can be a lengthy and difficult process.

The plan commission sent the matter to its May 9 committee meeting for further discussion. The committee will vote on the proposal before sending it to the Carmel City Council for a final vote. The regulations are proposed as part of an amendment to the city’s Unified Development Ordinance.

Learn more about the proposal at