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Murdock Law Wins Short-term Rental Case Against Walworth County

Murdock law was honored to represent 15 courageous property owners who challenged Walworth County’s attempt to deprive them of their ability to use their properties for short-term rentals. Led by Andrea Murdock, the property owners have finally prevailed in their fight against Walworth County.

Along the way, Murdock Law obtained a court order requiring that the  Zoning Board Chairman recuse himself for demonstrating his bias against vacation rentals. Following a remand and another circuit cour review, the Walworth County Circuit Court ultimately sided with the owners and found that:

  • The Board proceeded on an incorrect theory of law;
  • The Board’s decision was arbitrary, oppressive, and unreasonable;
  • The Board’s decision represented its will and not its judgment;
  • Each of the Property Owners did establish a vested interest in short-term rental use of the properties because the record establishes that you each intended to use the properties as investment properties and that you would lose substantial income if you were no longer allowed to use the properties for short-term rentals; and
  • Walworth County’s  Attorney Board and the County attempted to lead the Board at the remand hearing down the path of denial because he was more concerned with the outcome of the hearing than anything else.

As a result of this decision, the Property owners have established that they have a pre-existing non-conforming use in short-term rentals and they may continue using their properties for this purpose.

Comments (1)

Courageous is right – but good judgment in proceeding with Andrea’s legal judgment. The journey was a little painful but the outcome was terrific. As one of the 14 property owners, I am thrilled to be able to provide hospitality at my home and earn income to maintain it as well. Thank you, Andrea.

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