For months, the Pitkin County Council of Commissioners has been back and forth on how to regulate short-term rentals in unincorporated areas of the county.
Currently, Pitkin County has no laws in place regarding the regulation of short-term rentals and commissioners have struggled to find specific ones to implement.
During a BOCC working session on Tuesday, Pitkin County District Attorney John Ely advised commissioners to identify what was ‘offensive’ about short-term rentals in neighborhoods and develop policy significant which would attempt, at least, to prevent these infringements from occurring.
“A house that is continuously rented out on a short-term basis, so there is a weekly or bi-weekly turnover throughout the year, has a different neighborhood profile than the main landlords who rent their homes short-term for a period of time. season, ”Ely said during Tuesday’s BOCC working session.
While Pitkin County does not currently regulate short-term rentals, the City of Aspen does.
Anyone who rents their home in Aspen for 30 days or less must have a business license and remit sales and accommodation taxes to the city.
“We are aware of the businesses and everything that goes in and buys these houses for the sole purpose of [of making money]”Said Commissioner Patti Clapper. “They generate a lot of income. “
On airbnb.com on Tuesday, a penthouse in Aspen went on sale for up to $ 10,000 a night during Thanksgiving week. As per Aspen’s 2.4% sales tax and 2% lodging tax, an overnight stay in the $ 10,000 penthouse would generate approximately $ 440 in tax revenue in the vaults of the city in particular.
If the county adopted its own short-term rental rules and licensing requirements similar to the town of Aspen, they would only apply to properties located in the unincorporated Pitkin County.
According to a draft of these short-term rental regulations, Pitkin County Manager Jon Peacock, in consultation with the BOCC, would be responsible for appointing the county’s “licensing authority”, which would be responsible for processing. short-term rental applications and licensing. .
The BOCC agreed that it didn’t want large entities buying homes in Pitkin County just to convert them into unregulated short-term rentals. At the same time, the commissioners did not want the upcoming regulations to be so onerous that it would make it difficult for locals to rent out their homes every now and then as a short-term rental.
“I think we have to pay attention… to personal property rights and let the people do what they have to do, who live here – not talk about the investors from out of town but about the people who live here.” , said Commissioner Francie Jacober. “I think we need restrictions on short term rentals and I certainly don’t like the situation where people buy what should be a neighborhood house and then turn it into a rotating rental location.”
Commissioner Kelly McNicholas Kury proposed to do a first reading of the county’s upcoming short-term rental regulations in “two to four weeks” and a second reading by the end of 2021. Kury wanted the licensing program County short-term lease is operational. by March 1 of next year, which some board members say may be too early. However, the commissioners wished to proceed to a first reading soon in order to collect public comments.
At Tuesday’s working session, no specific date was set for a first reading of future county short-term rental regulations. Instead, the BOCC ordered staff to bring back an order at a regular Wednesday meeting “as soon as possible.”
“There are a lot of things you can do to regulate short-term rentals… There is a certain stringency that can linger around short-term rentals,” Kury said. “I just hope we can come to an agreement… and get things done.”