Steamboat chooses to remove certain areas from moratorium on vacation home rentals

Short term rentals (darker)
John F. Russell / steamboat pilot

Steamboat Springs City Council members called on Planning Director Rebecca Bessey at their Tuesday night meeting to draft an ordinance extending the moratorium on vacation home rental applications through January while letting it expire on October 31 for certain areas near Steamboat Resort.

The discussion took place ahead of Thursday’s planning committee meeting, during which commissioners will hold a non-voting discussion identifying potential overlap areas where short-term rentals could be banned.

When council members first broached the idea of ​​overlay zones in August, any agreed short-term rentals would likely continue to be allowed on streets closest to the resort, such as Apres Ski Way, Storm Meadows Drive and Burgess Creek Road.

“For me, it makes good sense to lift the moratorium now in the areas at the foot of the mountain,” said Michael Buccino, board member. “There are inherently homes that are the basis of the resort that have been vacation home rentals for years and decades.”

Robin Craigen, Sarah Bradford and Suzie Spiro, owners of Steamboat Lodging Co., Moving Mountains and Steamboat Lodging Properties, respectively, presented the board with a map indicating where they think the moratorium should be lifted as soon as possible and where it makes sense. to keep it in place. The map can be viewed digitally here. Some streets on the map have short-term rental restrictions based on their landlord associations, such as the sanctuary area.

Staff from Bradford and Steamboat Lodging Co. compiled the data used on the Routt County Assessor’s office map by examining streets in the mountainous area with a local density of less than 25%, meaning residents of houses indicated the addresses as their primary residences and their mailing. addresses for tax purposes.

Bradford said Bear Creek Drive and Hunters Drive, which are included in the current exclusion map, both have a population percentage above 25%, so council members agreed to revisit those streets before voting.

Bessey and planning staff will also verify Bradford’s data with the county ahead of the council vote on the matter in October.

The areas shown in green are the areas that Steamboat Springs City Council will vote to exclude from the current moratorium on short-term rentals. l Sarah Bradford / courtesy card

“Vacation home rentals are a benefit to this community in these neighborhoods because of the tax revenues and customer spending they inject into our community, the jobs they support, the diversity they bring and the lower levels of complaints they have when handled by professionals, ”Craigen said. “It’s logic.”

While all council members agreed to vote on removing certain neighborhoods from the moratorium, Lisel Petis and Heather Sloop voiced concerns about a “gold rush” from permit applicants as soon as the moratorium is lifted.

“Everyone says it’s so easy to get a license, but it’s not that easy to get one,” Bradford said.

Spiro presented board members with data from the Steamboat Springs Board of Realtors listing service on the number of homes purchased in recent years versus those that have been granted vacation home rental permits.

Spiro said the city sees an average of 21 landlords apply for a permit each year, with 15 permits expiring and not being renewed, for a total of six new vacation home rental permits issued each year.

“That percentage of permits has actually gone down because the vast majority of those homes purchased are either full-time owners or second homes, and they’re not rented,” Spiro said.

Council members began discussing the regulation of short-term rentals due to complaints from residents living near these units who raised noise and waste issues, as well as wanting full-time neighbors rather than revolving visitors. While short-term rentals are scattered throughout the city and county, AirDna shows that most of them are in the vicinity of the resort.

Data from the AirDna short-term rental tracking website shows where actively listed short-term rentals reside in Steamboat Springs. l AirDna / courtesy

Council members also discussed leaving Lincoln Avenue and Yampa Street from Third Street to 13th Street outside of future overlay areas.

“It’s kind of crazy to have a moratorium if we know some of these areas won’t have one,” Petis said. “We are trying to create a short-term compromise to lighten up this small area.”

Council members have scheduled a first reading of the ordinance removing certain areas from the moratorium on October 12 and a second reading on October 19.

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