The summit County Council of Commissioners unanimously passed new short-term rental regulations on first reading at its meeting on Tuesday, November 23, and plans to make adjustments based on concerns expressed by the public.
Commissioners voted to hold a public hearing on the ordinance and code changes on December 16, when they will vote on second reading.
The new regulations separate unincorporated Summit County into two zones: the resort and the neighborhood. Short term rentals in resort areas – which include Copper Mountain, Keystone, Peaks 7 and 8, and Tiger Run – will continue to operate as they currently do, but the licenses will now become resort licenses.
Neighborhood areas include the rest of the county’s unincorporated land and will use a tiered system for licensing, to which most new regulations apply.
Neighborhood zones will have three types of licenses depending on the type and use of the house:
Type I: This permit is intended for those who rent out their main residence. The Type 1 permit has unlimited annual rentals per night of a room in the house when the owner is present and a maximum of 60 nights per year to rent the entire unit.
Type II: This license is intended for owners of second homes – although owners can also apply for this license for their primary residence – and is limited to 135 nights per year.
Type III: For owners of second homes who want an exemption on the overnight stay limit, this license requires a conditional use permit and has different conditions for single-family homes and multi-family complexes.
At Tuesday’s morning working session, the commissioners agreed to move the maximum number of nights for a Type II permit for second home owners from 120 to 135, but a majority of those who spoke at the public comments requested over 180 nights. The commissioners also agreed to add Peak 7 to the station’s overlay area, which the owners of Peak 7 were happy to hear.
Senior planner Jessica Potter spearheaded the county’s new regulations and explained the details to commissioners, noting that the county has sent out a survey and educated stakeholders, such as property managers and home owners. secondary. The county has also emailed all of its short-term rental licensees to notify them of the meeting.
Potter explained that compared to the first half of 2020, home sales in the first half of 2021 that resulted in applications for short-term rental permits increased by 21%. She also pointed out that while only 35% of short-term rentals in the county are in neighborhoods, this is where 86% of all short-term rental complaints come from.
Commissioner Tamara Pogue explained the process the county goes through to get public input on its plans to regulate short-term rentals, including hosting a virtual town hall and two in-person and seven working sessions, as well as responding about 700 to 800 emails from the public about the problem.
âWe have received strong feedback from the community, but we have chosen to collect more public comment today because we certainly understand that this is a difficult issue,â said Pogue. â… As (Council of County Commissioners) we have tried to strike a balance between the needs of the industry and the needs of our workforce and our community. “
During a public comment, Jenny Lieb said she had lived in the house she owned for three years and started renting it out because she and her family had to move but wanted to keep the property. She said she hires around 10 locals to help manage the house while it is rented out year round.
With the new regulations, Lieb said she will have to reduce the number of people she hires because her home is not in a designated resort area. She agreed with many of the points made by those who spoke before her regarding the increase in the maximum number of nights and vested interests of current licensees.
âWe’ve heard a lot of very good and thoughtful questions todayâ¦ many of which we agree with and share their concerns as owners who rely heavily on short-term rentals,â said Lieb.
Many in attendance also asked the commissioners to consider retaining the grandfathered properties, and the commission asked county staff to consider this possibility as it was a major concern.
Under the current wording of the regulation, licensees will not be required to comply until September 2026, although short-term rental licenses must be renewed annually.