Letter: A different perspective on short-term rentals
I read Michael Turner’s recent letter on short-term rentals, and I wanted to share a different perspective. I also live in the 29-lot subdivision to which Mr. Turner refers.
I have owned my house for five years, and I truly love the town and community. I have come to the mountains throughout my life, and in recent years, remote work has allowed me the flexibility of owning a Steamboat Springs home. I split my time with the East Coast while my daughter was in high school, and now, I am a full-time resident.
To support the move to Steamboat, I established a relationship with the Steamboat Lodging Co. They guided me in obtaining a short-term rental permit, which we have renewed without incident. From the outset, it was important to me that the house and the neighborhood would be respected. So we established a clear preference for families and quiet groups, which they have consistently followed.
Over the years, I have gotten to know the Steamboat Lodging Co. team. They are local residents from the owners down to housekeeping. They care about our community. Their children attend local schools, and they have been available at a moment’s notice to solve any issue. While I do not know Moving Mountains, I understand they are also local residents.
I understand that our community is changing. I support efforts to provide affordable housing and to protect the character of Steamboat. I also have strong and growing relationships with my own neighbors. And while I no longer rent my home, it pains me to see short-term rentals vilified in our quest to address change.
With housing prices well in excess of $1 million, we are not going to solve for affordable housing by banning short-term rentals in our neighborhood. I would further suggest that hybrid and remote workers, such as myself, are not the downfall of community character.
Now, I do not know about overlay zones. I do know the ski area is less than 10 minuets walk, as I do so with my dog Griffin nearly every day.
With all that said, I hope that we can address our changing world with the same open and welcoming attitude that attracted many of us to Steamboat in the first place.
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Rather than protest at a rally to raise awareness of an alleged problem, Steamboat Springs High School students should file a formal complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.