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LETTERS

FISTS AND NOSESThank you, Anne Muhme, for your recent letter clarifying that Beds & Breakfasts/short-term rentals are not use-by-right in the old (current) city code. City planners are now trying to include B&Bs as a use-by-right, apparently supported by a few council persons. Property managers and some homeowners of course support the move. Also, thanks to Peggy Filer for her letter in this past Sunday’s Pilot.
The absentee homeowner who wrote April 1, claiming that B&Bs are a constitutional right of residential owners is off-the-wall. He is, in effect, saying that if he wants a commercial hog-raising of dog-kenneling operation of his residential property he has an absolute and unequivocal right to do so. As a general comment, his rights to swing his constitutional fists end where his neighbors’ noses begin.
Council has been procrastinating on this issue for a long time. While our residential neighborhood is strictly covenanted to specifically exclude B&Bs, we fear an overriding code that makes B&Bs a use-by-right. We have submitted petitions, gone to meetings, and used “letters” to let council know that the attempt to codify-in B&Bs with the new code revision is abhorrent to us.
Council has deferred this matter, because of strong opposition, until some unspecified date in May. I hope those opposed to residential commercialism with B&Bs will bombard council with “letters,” council meeting attendance, phone call or however in the meantime. Ask them, like Nancy Reagan did to drug users, to just say No!
Omar M. Campbell
Steamboat Springs

VANDALISM STRIKESWhat a weekend! Typical of spring, we had all sorts of weather.
What a weekend! Not typical of our valley, one of our Steamboat Springs treasures was deliberately and maliciously vandalized. Someone strong, someone tall, someone with nothing better to do than hang out at the Yampa Valley Botanic Park and break glass, bend in half the metal hummingbird trellis arch and sundial, upset plant pots, and push over literature posts.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not against hanging out at the Botanical Garden. But of all the folks who have hung out there since its inception, the purpose of hanging out has been to appreciate this gift to the community, not to abuse it or sneak in to be ill-willed.
Who has answers to such an act? What is the solution to keep this from happening again, anywhere? What was the motive for those who were responsible? What can be said to convince anyone else from considering a “copy cat” type mission? Summer is not too far off. Are there enough “hanging out” things to do for the community of Steamboat Springs or can we expect more weekend surprises?
Lynn Bear
Steamboat Springs

RENTAL BENEFITSI am an owner of a single family five bedroom residence which is situated on a duplex zoned lot located approximately one mile from the base of the ski mountain. The area our home is in has many homes and duplexes which have renters both long and short term. We spend approximately two to two and one-half months per year in our home. Our hope is some day we’ll be able to spend much more time in Steamboat. Until that time comes it is necessary to receive some income from our property to help carry the cost of owning a second home.Steamboat Springs cannot be defined as a town that is solely a ranching town or a resort town or a retirement town; it is all of these and much more. With one of the functions of the town being a resort, unique requirements arise to service visitors and locals in regard to housing. Steamboat has been promoted over the years as a “family-orientated” destination.
Families with several children or extended families have a desire to stay together if possible for their vacations or special events.
We have had families and guests of locals who are in town for weddings, funerals, family reunions and other special events rent our home for a few days up to a week.
Our home will sleep up to 14 guests, so two or three young families can pool their resources and afford a vacation rental.
A local management company professionally manages my property.
With proper education of the renters by the management company and communication between the management company and neighbors of rental properties, all should be able to coexist peacefully.
There is a benefit to the community of allowing nightly rentals.
Charles J. Sher
Solana Beach, Calif.



LOSING MONEYWe continue to read about how much money we are making “to pay that mortgage on that house that maybe we shouldn’t have bought in the first place.” Interesting concept, but definitely not true. In the year 2000, our net gain was -$32,036.71. Here’s the story:In 1995, my wife and I decided to leave the big city and move to Steamboat Springs. We found our dream house and bought it. We investigated business opportunities (we are both professionals) and were totally rejected by business leaders in our fields!Now what? We could postpone this plan or consider living in the city eight months and in Steamboat Springs four months. Whatever, someone has to look after our house.
We found an excellent management company (Special Places) and made a deal. We now enjoy our house part-time and are comfortable that someone is taking care of it when we aren’t there.
Now the money…in the year 2000, our house was rented about one third of the time. My guess is that these renters spent some money in Steamboat Springs. Special Places collected 100 units of money. Seventy-five units went back to Steamboat Springs community for house management.
Twenty units went to utilities (also local), six units went to home improvements (local) and four units went into our pockets. The net in real numbers was that our house in Steamboat Springs cost us $32,036.71 to have it. Repeat…we lost 32K in the year 2000 in order to own a house in Steamboat Springs. We are now considering whether or not it’s worth it.
James E. Butler
Houston, Texas


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