Steamboat’s short-term rental license deadline may be extended to April

Due to a bottleneck with the city’s software vendor, CityView, the Steamboat Springs Planning Department is requesting that the deadline for obtaining a short-term rental license be moved from Jan. 1 to April 30.

The city expects to review about 3,000 applications for short-term rental licenses as soon as CityView completes configuring the software to accommodate the new licensing process.

After CityView completes its scope of work, property owners will need sufficient time to prepare applications and staff will need sufficient time for review, according to a proposed ordinance.

This means that the short-term rental hotline would not be available until April, which means complaints on short-term rental properties would continue to be handled by police and would only apply to infractions in the city’s municipal code, such as trash and noise violations. Rules included only in the terms of the licenses, such as occupancy limits, would not be enforced until licenses are issued.

City Council entertained the idea of using paper applications in the meantime, saying they feel it’s important that the full scope of short-term rental enforcement should be implemented before the ski season.

City staff said that processing 3,000 paper applications would take a large amount of time and that they would likely need more help to get them all ready before ski season. 

“If we go with paper, we should look at implementing the digital system next year, a year from now,” said City Manager Gary Suiter, who added that he has seen similar data conversions in the past. 

“They’re very difficult,” Suiter said. “They’re very expensive and they’re very time consuming.”

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City Council motioned to push their vote on the extension to Nov. 15, saying they wanted more information about the additional costs of a paper system. The motion was approved by six out of the seven council members. 

Council member Dakotah McGinlay opposed, saying she wanted any changes to the deadline to be made decisively. 

“Our staff has recommended that we give the public a firm deadline of what we’re doing,” McGinlay said, agreeing with the planning department’s request that a decision be made as soon as possible. “And we’re not doing that right now.”

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