Letter: Granicus not the answer
In the recent article about Granicus, the short-term rental monitoring and enforcement company, the owner of a local Steamboat Springs lodging company was quoting as saying, “This 24/7 hotline is going to be huge.” Nothing could be further from the truth, and this statement shows a lack of understanding or willingness to acknowledge the plight residents are having with short-term rentals affecting the character, safety and quality of life of their residential neighborhoods.
Granicus is not a solution to the short-term and vacation-home rental problem we have, not even close. Let me tell you why. By the time we residents call Granicus, the evening or weekend has already been ruined by the renters in the vacation-home rentals. We have already been impacted and have had to initiate the policing. Granicus will not stop more vacation-home rentals from popping up in our residential neighborhoods, they will not stop the increased traffic, they will not stop the anxiety of not knowing who is in the vacation-home rental next door this weekend, they will not stop quality of life being eroded with a new set of hotel guests in the neighborhood every week, and they will not stop the residents from having to be the front line of policing. With a constant stream of hotel guests over varying periods of time in different vacation-home rentals, there will always be issues.
Granicus is reactive, not proactive. We need proactive measures like other mountain city councils have put in place as reported in the Pilot & Today on Sept. 25. Durango, Salida and Avon have caps, and Breckenridge is moving to do the same. Salida, Crested Butte, Aspen, Breckenridge, Winter Park and Avon all collect taxes, with Crested Butte even collecting a 5% vacation rental excise tax. Breckenridge, Salida, Winter Park, Avon and Durango’s short-term rental permits are all nontransferable. Winter Park recently passed an incentive program to encourage short-term rental owners to rent their properties to full-time tenants. These towns understand the gravity of the situation and are acting.
I urge City Council not to be misled into believing Granicus is the end-all, be-all solution but to put proactive policies in place that limit the number of short-term rentals and where they can be located.
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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.