Some streets are excluded from the moratorium on Steamboat vacation home rentals

Four Steamboat Springs City Council members voted Tuesday to extend the moratorium on vacation home rental permit applications until Jan.31, 2022, while choosing to remove some streets near Steamboat Resort.

Council members Kathi Meyer and Heather Sloop voted against the order, and council member Sonja Macys recused herself due to a conflict of interest.

The city council will have to pass a second reading on Tuesday before the ordinance comes into force.

Steamboat Town Planning Director Rebecca Bessey has proposed removing the streets due to their low density of full-time local residents. Bessey obtained this measurement by examining permanent addresses with data from the Routt County Assessor’s office. Each of the proposed streets has a local population of less than 30%.

The moratorium only applies to vacation home rentals, which are a small subset of short-term rentals. The city code defines the rental of a vacation home as a single-family home or duplex used as an accommodation facility where the owner or other permanent resident does not reside in the unit. There are currently 213 active vacation home rental licenses in the city.

Because the city does not require registration for short-term rentals such as condominiums and rooms in a house, it’s hard to say how many are in the city, but AirDNA, a website that tracks data on short-term rentals, estimates there are 2,867 active units. Granicus, the enforcement company the city has hired to enforce short-term rental complaints, will seek registration of all unregistered short-term rental units.

The six members participating in the discussion stressed the need to prioritize the preservation of the character of traditionally local neighborhoods.

“Please don’t say it’s all about the ski area, it’s a part of our community that keeps us going,” said Robin Crossan, board member. “We may be a world class ski area, but we were something quite different from that before the ski area was created. “

Crossan added that she believes Steamboat Resort has benefited the community and helped shape the city as it is, but stressed the need to take care of the whole community, not just those who work in the community. tourism industry.

Her comments came after Wendy Harvey, a Steamboat resident and manager of short-term rental properties, addressed the board during the public comments and told members she believed their definition of character preservation neighborhood was unfair.

“This is how a lot of people in this community survive, this is how we live here, so when you talk about an outright ban, an arbitrary ban, a line drawn on Walton Creek Road, you are crushing part of this community, ”Harvey says. “We are a community and a commodity; we are both. If we weren’t, we’d be Craig.

Harvey pointed out that tourists who stay in short-term rentals support the community by spending money in restaurants and shops, and that landlords who rent second homes to overnight tenants benefit the community by hiring local property management companies to manage their rentals.

“These big, beautiful, lovely families come here and spend money in our community,” Harvey said. “A lot of money.”

Board member Michael Buccino said he believes the moratorium has served its purpose – to give the board time to hire an execution company to handle complaints about short-term rentals and allow members to create a policy around the issue – but he felt that now caused more problems. that it does not solve.

“I think we can solve a lot of problems by lifting the moratorium on areas which I think are in full use anyway,” Buccino said.

Comments are closed.