Letter: Short-term rentals survey
I just filled out the survey, and I don’t see how this survey is going to be helpful in providing information for solving the problems in our community due to short-term rentals. I assume people that own short-term rentals will be eager to fill out the survey and list a preference for less restrictions.
I have owned a home in Steamboat for 25 years. When I moved here, short-term housing was in licensed facilities like hotels and motels and bed and breakfast places. Some people with an extra bedroom in their home would rent it out to people that work here or students in our college. People that owned a home they didn’t live in would rent it out to long-term renters who worked here, and they became part of the residential community. As the years passed, people started renting extra rooms for short-term stays, but they also lived in the home.
Fast forward to today when short-term rentals have become big business. People and organizations are buying residential homes, condos and duplexes that they do not live in and using them for short-term rentals. Make no mistake about it these are businesses, and they do not belong in residential communities any more than any other business.
Short-term rentals that are already in residential communities may need to be grandfathered in for X number of years for the current owner only. They also need to be licensed and pay taxes just like any other business. Short-term rentals outside of residential communities also need to be licensed and pay taxes, as well.
Once we get short-term rentals under control, it will open up housing for long-term renters who are part of our community. As an earlier letter to the editor asked, “Are we a commodity or a community?” Let us hope we get back on track to being a community.
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On Tuesday, Peak Health Alliance, a nonprofit, locally-led insurance purchasing alliance, gave a presentation to the Routt County commissioners. We attended the meeting (remotely), and this is what we learned: