Public invited to comment on short-term rentals |

Public invited to comment on short-term rentals

The Steamboat Springs Planning Commission has recommended a short-term rental overlay zone map for city council’s approval. The map would divide the city into three zones with different restrictions on short-term rentals operating in each one of the zones.
City of Steamboat Springs/Courtesy image

Members of the public will have the opportunity to address their opinions to city council regarding the proposed short-term rental overlay zone during the Steamboat Springs City Council’s work session at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 10.

The work session starts at 5 p.m. in the Carver meeting room at Centennial Hall and the listening session for short-term rentals starts at 7 p.m., promptly, regardless of whether the preceding presentations are complete.

City council has limited public comments to only pertain to the topic of short-term rentals. Public comment will close at 8:30 p.m., but anyone unable to comment because of the time constraint is encouraged to submit comments through the city website.

Each person commenting will be asked to state their full name, address and will be limited to three minutes.

The listening session will start with a 15-minute overview of short-term rentals and the overlay zone by Planning and Community Development Director Rebecca Bessey.

Prior to the listening session are two presentations. The first is a 45-minute presentation on policies for contracting, real property conveyance, and uses and improvement of parks and open space property by City Attorney Dan Foote and Parks and Recreation Director Angela Cosby. Then, Finance Director Kim Weber will give a 45-minute presentation on the fiscal sustainability of the proposed short-term rental tax.

Over the course of several months, the City of Steamboat Springs Planning Commission drafted an ordinance that would create a licensing process for short-term rentals and implement a zone overlay map that would organize limits on short-term rental licenses according to different zones.

The planning commission voted to recommend the map with a split 5-2 vote on April 28.

According to Granicus, a private company that has been working with the city to organize short-term rentals into a database, there are roughly 3,000 short-term rentals operating within city limits. The city defines short-term rentals as residential properties used as lodging for less than 30 days per rental.

Supporters of restrictions on short-term rentals argue the rising cost and low supply of long-term rentals can be, at least in part, attributed to the abundance of properties used as short-term rentals. People have also spoken out saying the proliferation of short-term lodging within residential zones increases the frequency of noise and trash complaints, congests parking lots, and changes the character of communities especially in neighborhoods with a lot of single-family homes.

Opponents of the restrictions argue there is no guarantee putting limits on short-term rentals will create more long-term rentals. People who rent out their vacation homes, for example, could simply let their properties remain empty during the months they aren’t using them. Opponents also argue property values may depreciate if disallowed from being used for short-term rentals.

Those unable to attend the meeting in-person can watch on TV6/Comcast or steam live via Zoom. Public comment can also be provided through Zoom.

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