Short Term Rental (STR)

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With the proliferation of vacation ownership and nightly rentals, City Council is interested in understanding the topic more in depth and how this matter is or is not impacting the community as it pertains to long-term rental housing, neighborhood character, sales & lodging tax collection, safety and enforcement.

What is a Short-Term Rental?

  • Lodging and Accommodations uses occurring within dwelling units.

Lodging Accommodations uses include:

  • Sleeping or housing establishments intended to be occupied on a short-term, transient basis.
  • Payment for occupancy is typically on a daily or weekly basis, and an average length of stay is 30 days or less.
  • Includes the uses of hotels, hostels, vacation home rentals, vacation rentals, and bed & breakfasts.
  • Defined by the Community Development Code (CDC) as commercial land uses

The CDC defines several Short-Term Rental uses:

  • Vacation Home Rental (VHR) = Single-Family home or duplex unit; the entire unit is rented
  • Vacation Rental = multiple-family unit; entire unit
  • Bed & Breakfast = SF home; owner/operator occupied; 2+ guestrooms*
    • *does not include Rental of 1 bedroom in resident-occupied dwelling unit
  • Temporary Short-Term Rental = SF home or duplex unit; entire unit; limited term and occurrence, Limited use, limited districts, no permit required

Short Term Rentals = all of the above

With the proliferation of vacation ownership and nightly rentals, City Council is interested in understanding the topic more in depth and how this matter is or is not impacting the community as it pertains to long-term rental housing, neighborhood character, sales & lodging tax collection, safety and enforcement.

What is a Short-Term Rental?

  • Lodging and Accommodations uses occurring within dwelling units.

Lodging Accommodations uses include:

  • Sleeping or housing establishments intended to be occupied on a short-term, transient basis.
  • Payment for occupancy is typically on a daily or weekly basis, and an average length of stay is 30 days or less.
  • Includes the uses of hotels, hostels, vacation home rentals, vacation rentals, and bed & breakfasts.
  • Defined by the Community Development Code (CDC) as commercial land uses

The CDC defines several Short-Term Rental uses:

  • Vacation Home Rental (VHR) = Single-Family home or duplex unit; the entire unit is rented
  • Vacation Rental = multiple-family unit; entire unit
  • Bed & Breakfast = SF home; owner/operator occupied; 2+ guestrooms*
    • *does not include Rental of 1 bedroom in resident-occupied dwelling unit
  • Temporary Short-Term Rental = SF home or duplex unit; entire unit; limited term and occurrence, Limited use, limited districts, no permit required

Short Term Rentals = all of the above

Comments

Please provide comments, concerns or ideas for the Community and City Council to consider.

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Dear City Council and fellow Community members,

I make a living working for a vacation rental company and I do not believe multi-million dollar vacation rental homes and townhomes near the mountain would ever be converted to long-term housing. The economics of long-term rentals do not match market prices to make them affordable. Additionally, many were built for the purpose of accommodating tourists when second homeowners are not in Steamboat. We ask that the moratorium on VHR Permits be lifted for the South and North Resort areas in neighborhoods where homes are not primarily occupied by local residents.

Today, only 5% of all STRs in Steamboat are required to have VHR licenses, meaning only 211 active VHR permits out of 3650 STRs in Steamboat (source: KeyData)

I strongly encourage the City Council to end the VHR moratorium on Sept 8th and move forward with requiring registration/license/permit for all Short Term Rentals in all property types and neighborhoods. I support VHR permits no longer running with the land, as all STR permits/licenses would have to be re-applied for when there is ownership change. When registered/permitted for an appropriate fee, STRs can then be expected to adhere to safety, noise, trash, parking and pet standards that will not negatively impact neighbors. I believe that a 24-hour STR hotline and enhanced complaint tracking and code enforcement, will also provide better data for future decision making.

Thank you-

azlutz 4 months ago

I do not believe high dollar value vacation rental homes and townhomes near the mountain would ever be converted to long-term housing. The economics of long-term rentals do not match market prices to make them affordable. Additionally, many were built for the purpose of accommodating tourists when second homeowners are not in Steamboat. Please life the moratorium on VHR Permits for the South and North Resort areas in neighborhoods where homes are not primarily occupied by local residents.

Only 211 vacation rentals currently have to be licensed (VHR permit) while the majority (over 3,500) are currently unregulated - they don't even have to register with the City.

I encourage the City Council to end the VHR moratorium on Sept 8th and move forward with requiring registration/license/permit for all Short Term Rentals in all property types and neighborhoods. We support VHR permits no longer running with the land, as all STR permits/licenses would have to be re-applied for when there is ownership change.

echrist 4 months ago

I encourage the City Council to end the VHR moratorium on Sept 8th and move forward with requiring registration/license/permit for all Short Term Rentals in all property types and neighborhoods. I support VHR permits no longer running with the land, as all STR permits/licenses would have to be re-applied for when there is ownership change.

This will allow the City to take further action in the future to possibly limit some use in traditional Steamboat neighborhoods (ie. Old Town/Brooklyn/Fairview) after they collect accurate data on usage, and/or limit use in multi-family (condo) buildings where originally-long-term-housing exists and is now being short term rented.

When registered/permitted for an appropriate fee, STRs can then be expected to adhere to safety, noise, trash, parking and pet standards that will not negatively impact neighbors. We believe that a 24-hour STR hotline and enhanced complaint tracking and code enforcement, will also provide better data for future decision making.

petewither 4 months ago

We encourage the City Council to end the VHR moratorium on Sept 8th and move forward with requiring registration/license/permit for all Short Term Rentals in all property types and neighborhoods. We support VHR permits no longer running with the land, as all STR permits/licenses would have to be re-applied for when there is ownership change.



This will allow the City to take further action in the future to possibly limit some use in traditional Steamboat neighborhoods (ie. Old Town/Brooklyn/Fairview) after they collect accurate data on usage, and/or limit use in multi-family (condo) buildings where originally-long-term-housing exists and is now being short term rented.

This is also information I found while investigating Short Term Rentals in the area:

When registered/permitted for an appropriate fee, STRs can then be expected to adhere to safety, noise, trash, parking and pet standards that will not negatively impact neighbors. We believe that a 24-hour STR hotline and enhanced complaint tracking and code enforcement, will also provide better data for future decision making.

Miriam Zeddies 4 months ago

Regarding Short Term rentals-We began our visits to Steamboat years ago with our young family. We still find it our favorite place even nor for our adult kids. We bought a condo between Mt and town with the hope of moving there in near future. Until then, we love sharing our place with others like us who want to find a wonderful get away. We do not mind paying a small fee to register our condo as a short term rental but we are also very careful to whom we rent. We were more dismayed to see a giant residence hotel recently built & opened right by an already busy grocery store entrance and bus stop (The Residence in by Safeway) That brings more continual traffic and non interviewed guests than a small condo- yet that was approved. Please re-evaluate your position on how to regulate STR. It's not those of us who actively want to share the beauty of Routt County that are adversely effecting the town - it's those who do not actively contribute or register with the town as rentals. All the brochures we have seen over the years WANT people to become a part of the community. That's our hope - but until we get there renting to a few couples is not what may be altering the affordable housing in the area. Thanks for asking our thoughts.

Miriam Zeddies 4 months ago

I bought a house in Steamboat last year after securing a fractional interest at One Steamboat Place when they broke ground 10 years ago. I continue to own both and it allows me to use OSP for the weeks I receive and yet have additional time to spend and enjoy Steamboat. After purchasing the house, I upgraded a number of structural areas, secured a designer and artist from Steamboat and used all of the trades to enhance my property. I began renting after purchase and it has been rewarding to know others are using the place when I cannot, and the upside is some added dollars to pay maintenance expenses. Our plan is in several years to spend a lot more time in Steamboat, and possibly reduce rental availability at that time. I cannot imagine our home would have ever entered a local renters swingzone due to the high purchase price of the house. I am all for creating affordable housing, and understand the importance of staffing a resort town, but taking a broad swipe at those that bring visitors to the area is not the methodology that would deliver long term results. Let's look at the actual data, separate condo from house, location and permit/VHR versus Airbnb type rentals and properly identify real estate that does offer rental opportunities for locals to protect with regulatory action. Vail and Aspen have struggled with this forever, so let's think through it before we cut off the revenue that supports the town.

Alpenglow 4 months ago

I understand that there is an issue with affordable housing in Steamboat and the city is trying to find workable solutions to fix that problem. It's a difficult task, but with any decision there are unintended consequences and its important to hear from all sides. I believe adding restrictions to short-term rentals with the goal of reducing their number and hoping this results in an increased number of long-term rentals won't achieve the desired effect and will negatively affect many people like me. Here is my situation and why I believe restrictions won't help solve the problem:

The condo complex where my family owns our second home is a mix of long-term and short-term rentals. There are no owners who currently live in our condo complex full time. Each property owner has decided which makes more sense for them and for most, long-term is just more profitable. For my family, we want to be a part of the Steamboat community rather than just an absentee landlord investor looking to maximize profit. We make less income than we could, but we get to spend plenty of time in Steamboat and we generate lodging and accommodation taxes for the city. Short-term rentals offer just the right solution for us and I think there are a lot of people who are in this situation. Everyone involved benefits. If we were restricted from being able to rent short term, we would not make a shift to renting our place long-term because we want to spend time in Steamboat ourselves. Our place would not be available to long-term renters, it would just sit empty for more of the year, and the city would just lose out on the tax revenue we generate every year. Additional regulations that hamper our choice as property owners won't benefit anybody.

Another issue that appears to be common complaint is the impacts of short-term rentals on the neighborhood. While I can understand that this may be a problem in some areas, in situations like mine, most of the other units are rented 'long-term' but often turnover every year. There is a mix of considerate neighbors and others who are less so with each new group so it's difficult to argue that our short-term renters somehow degrade the overall feel of the community. A broad and sweeping change to regulations designed to alleviate the complaints of some wouldn't be fair in my situation and probably that of many others as well. By addressing the concerns of some community members you would be placing restrictions on me and others regardless of the fact that our short-term renters do not cause problems for anyone else.

Finally, there is some interest in adding fees to short-term rentals as a mechanism to fund some way to increase affordable housing. Why does it make sense to add extra fees to our rentals, in the form of permits and/or nightly charges and put the burden of funding affordable housing options entirely on this portion of the community? We all benefit from additional affordable housing in the community, including the business community who needs employees and everyone who eats, shops, skis, or rents a bike in town. We should all help contribute to solving this problem. Yes, it make sense to tap into the flood of tourist dollars that keeps this community vibrant, but not just on those tourists that choose to stay in a short-term rental and on us owners that have taken an opportunity to rent our otherwise empty homes for parts of the year.

I understand that there is a housing shortage and affordability issues, but restricting me and others like me isn't going to solve these housing issues. And adding fees to short-term rentals in the form of permits and nightly fees is an unfair approach to solving a problem that we should all be contributing in some way to help solve.

mrobertson6 4 months ago

Steamboat is our 2nd home — our entire family uses the place off and on for around 5 months of the year. Because we consider it our home and for our families use, we would never consider renting it for even a solid month.

We rent occasionally; however, our renters are carefully screened. No one under 30 — and family members only.

We have cameras at entry and in backyard so we can observe our guests outside to ensure they are obiding by our strict rules.

Eliminating our ability to short term rent would not provide housing for workers as we use our place too much.

However, it would deprive Steamboat of quality visitors who have money to pour into its economy.

Cpleitz 4 months ago

Please consider making RN-! and RN-2 part of the zoned areas, like RR and G, that do not need a license to have a VHR. We are right cross the street from the Bear Claw and they can rent with no license and we paid $500 for the license plus $75 every year. I see no difference between people staying at the Bear Claw/ Edgemont and our place, especially since in my opinion, the Edgemont should never have been allowed to by 7 stories on the downhill side of the building in the first place. The cIty should not have approved these extra type units unless they wanted the town to be crowded with tourist. It seems like there is an imbalance when it comes to the Cities desire for revenue from rentals and their ability to fund affordable housing units for people that want to live and work in Steamboat. There are many cities with ski areas like Sun valley, Bozeman, Boise, Bend, Vail, etc that have the exact same problem. I recommend studying what they are doing and recommending best practices.

chupiks 4 months ago

I'd like to comment on community impact and neighborhood character. Our family has been coming to Steamboat for 4 decades and the recent proliferation of crowds has been unsettling to us, as I'm sure it has to folks who live in Steamboat full time. I wonder if the City and Ski Corp should take a closer look at how tourism is encouraged and subsidized (airline subsidies, etc) to understand impacts to the community. For example, we experienced a weekend this past July when our friends needed accommodations; the only rentals available were at the Holiday Inn for over $450 per night. When demand and prices for STRs are that high, the notion of affordability anywhere quickly vanishes.

chupikc 4 months ago

Our property on Ski Trail lane has been in our family for over 40 years. We obtained a permit for short term rentals about three years ago and have renewed it yearly since. It's my understanding that only 211 properties are permitted for rental currently. Our property was used for family and friends during the first 37 years and not rented. We currently rent for five-day minimum stays through a local company, Steamboat Rental by Owner, and have followed all of the City regulations around short term rental. Since there are so few home rentals that are on the mountain (and most are vacation homes), I see no reason to restrict rentals in that area. Most vacation homes on our block are valued and taxed by the County at $1.4 million and up. Unless heavily subsidized by the City or Ski resort, it would be challenging to turn these properties into affordable long term rentals. Additionally, it looks like there are 3,600 units that are rented daily and that only 211 have a permit like us. The way I see it, we are the minority of homeowners following the existing rules; it seems like enforcement of the current rules is really at issue here. I oppose a blanket moratorium that doesn't consider the factors stated above.
I apologize if this sounds terse, but my family has also been concerned about the housing affordability issue for years, and am open to any potential solution as long as it doesn't interfere with our ability to share this beautiful place with others who wish to visit.
Sincerely, Stephen Chupik (206-434-9675)

chupiks 4 months ago

Dear City Council members,
I've been visiting Steamboat since the 90's and spent so much time here I finally invested in a property in 2019.
It has come to my attention of the attempt to regulate short-term rentals within the community due to a lack of affordable housing among other reasons.
The home in which I purchased and was able to afford was not because I was planning to rent it.
No bank would ever qualify anyone based on rental projections and such numbers are never used to qualify such loans. I am concerned the current efforts and attempts to regulate short-term rentals could open many regulatory doors.
I constantly check-in with my neighbors and everyone has my direct number should there be a reason to reach out. Being in the responsible group, I would be in favor of the formation of a compliance team that could respond to any complaints. This would help with data and distinguish the people like me who are invested in Steamboat and not just revenue.
In the end not everyone will be happy with the decisions you make and you will never be able to make everyone happy. I just encourage you to not make quick decisions and base your decisions on facts and data.
Steamboat will forever be a community of tourism, family, and growth. I have faith you will find a balance between it all.
Feel free to reach out if you have any questions.
Thank you, Philip

pgflexx 4 months ago

Our family has owned a condo by the mountain since 1976. Throughout the years family members have owned homes and rented in Steamboat. We have also been landlords in Michigan and Florida.

My comments are based on a long and deep love for Steamboat and our experience with other communities who have wrestled with rental property.

1. most of the frustration with rentals gone bad are around noise, garbage, and parking. These can also be frustrations in owner occupied homes where the owner is inconsiderate. These issues can best be solved by strict enforcement often of existing laws against the offenders.
2. Another major source of frustration is locating a responsible party and getting a timely response. In our Florida Beach condos we are required to register and provide the name and number of a manager who is on call 24-7. We must respond to issues in a few hours. No responsible landlord would have an issue with this system in Steamboat.
3. In my opinion rental issues are often linked to community issues in ways that confuse the issues and solutions. Steamboat is no exception. Short term rentals are being blamed for lack of long term rentals. We have rented our unit both short and long term. We will never go back to long term. Our unit is kept cleaner by having weekly professional cleaners and we can use the unit when it isn’t rented. If we aren’t allowed to rent short term or if we are forced to pay exorbitant fees we will let it sit empty or sell it. Steamboat has a long term rental problem because most investors don’t see a reward for providing long term accommodations.
4. The problems of rentals are often well known while the benefits are ignored. Steamboat residents enjoy many amenities that Tourists pay for. Homeowners pay no property taxes. We are one of only four Cities in Colorado who avoid property taxes. Our short term renters pay a huge bed tax, and sales tax, while they eat in our restaurants, buy lift tickets, etc. Our hotels and B&B,s could never pick up the slack if STR’s are restricted.
5. Restricting property rights is a slippery slope. In one community where we owned rentals a vocal minority blamed rentals for the lack of families. They convinced the City to restrict rentals to only families in certain neighborhoods. What is a family today? Some are nontraditional so the City defined nontraditional and then created a process for registering nontraditional families. A young homeowner registered his three male friends as a family and was registered. A neighbor complained that the homeowner’s girlfriend was living in the home. A City inspector came into the home (as the registration allowed) and looked through the bedrooms searching for female underwear. The homeowner sued the City and won a huge settlement. In Florida our HOA wanted to restrict STR’s but were afraid homeowners would cheat and pretend that renters were friends or family. They spent a fortune to have a lawyer draw up restrictions that prevented the exchange of anything of value for housing. When homeowners realized they could no longer provide lodging to a health care aide, or have a friend stay in their home and pick up their mail, they voted down the plan. These are two crazy examples of the problems in the details of restricting property rights. Steamboat should go slow and avoid the heavy hand of over regulation.

PaulDavis 4 months ago

I am concerned about over-regulating timeshare properties used for short term rental purposes. I own a timeshare unit at Wyndham Resorts, located at 900 Pine Grove Circle. The property is zoned RR-1 Resort Residential which allows condominiums. It was designed and constructed under the building code for transient occupancy. The use of this property for short-term rental (STR) purposes (less than 30 days) should continue to be allowed by City regulations. Wyndham manages the property, not each owner. They are responsible for maintaining it properly, controlling disruptive behavior and responding to complaints. It should not be necessary to obtain an STR permit to list this condo on home sharing sites like Airbnb or Vrbo. These platforms collect and remit all state and local taxes to the appropriate governmental unit. If a dark cloud is cast over short-term condo rental, the city's tourism economy will suffer due to lack of visitors many months of the year. Leave well enough alone and focus on assisting traditional residential neighborhoods with their STR problems.

rdudark 4 months ago

Residing in a residential neighborhood short term rentals present a very contentious problem between residents and vacationers. Steamboat housing typically was built without air conditioning, I am speaking of course, of summer rentals. We open our windows at night to cool off the house and close the windows during the day. In residential neighborhoods, vacationers are on decks, sometimes hot tubs, and doing what vacationers do, enjoying adult beverages. This only increases the volume of discussions and laughter till late at night until early in the morning, as we who live work here are attempting to sleep. Winter is a whole set of other issues.

Fred and Candi 4 months ago

It makes sense to require all STR, not just VHR properties to obtain a permit. Why target this small group? I understand traditional neighborhoods that are being adversely affected by short term rentals, but if you look at the data that's been presented, opinions can be put aside and more informed decisions on policy and how to improve this situation can be made.

azlutz 4 months ago

To suggest that there aren’t residential neighborhoods with working people by the mountain is ludicrous at best. I’m a full time resident that lives in the Ski Ranches neighborhood by the mountain. This was a fine neighborhood until the short-term rentals crept in and made our life miserable. Short-term rentals belong in areas they were original zoned for - not residential neighborhoods! I ask our Council members to remove the 211 short-term rentals in areas that weren’t originally zoned for them.

Blatoza

Blatoza 4 months ago

“If we have data, let’s look at data. If all we have are opinions, let’s go with mine.” – Jim Barksdale, former Netscape CEO

We ask the Council to look at the data available, and move forward with the first step of registering all 3,788 vacation rentals/STRs vs. just the 211 VHR permits registered today. That will allow for a 24/7 complaint hotline and enforcement, requiring each property to have an on-call in-town representative to handle an issue at a property, plus enforces parking, trash, noise, pet, safety and occupancy rules. This would be a big move in the right direction just to make this a reality.

Once the above is put into place, the City can then look at real data about noise/traffic/trash issues and come up with more stringent regulations in areas where needed. Please collect and use data to make big property-right decisions.

Here are a few data points from 3rd party/independent sources:

- Of the 260 properties sold in the City of Steamboat Springs in the last 18 months that would qualify for a VHR Permit, only 12 of them have applied for a VHR permit (6 homes and 6 town homes) since closing. Source: MLS, June 2021
- 2,796 of the 3,788 STRs in Steamboat are condos. These are currently ALL unregulated and unrestricted. Source: AirDNA, an independent data aggregator in the STR industry
- The 211 VHR permits are 5% of all STRs and their average value is $1,397,765, Source: MLS June 2021
- The number of all STRs in Steamboat is decreasing - 3,819 in 2020 to 3,788 in 2021, and private home rentals are also decreasing from 482 in 2020 to 442 in 2021. Source: AirDNA
- Since at least 2015, the % of local buyers of Steamboat real estate has hovered around 50%. Of the 50% of out of town buyers, Front Range/Colorado buyers has steadily jumped from 12% to 24% while out of state buyers has significantly decreased from 38% to 30%. Source: Land Title Guarantee Company, 2021

Please look at this data and much more data before making a quick decision that has many unintended consequences for all. This is a 8-sided issue as one Council Member recently said. Complicated issues not easily solved with a quick policy decision lacking data.

Thank you for listening to your constituents and gathering and studying real data to make good decisions for all in our community.

smaller 4 months ago

I think you should limit rentals in traditional neighborhoods that are being adversely affected by short term rentals. Leave the Mountain alone. There is no reason to limit that area. Thank you!

Bret 4 months ago

Along with my husband and two kids we’re Colorado natives who have been visiting and contributing to the Steamboat community for over 40 years. In May of this year we closed on the purchase of a townhome with the plan to ultimately retire full-time in Steamboat. I’m sure it’ll come as no surprise to anyone that with the skyrocketing price of real estate these days, the only way for normal Colorado families such as ours to afford a place to spend time in the Steamboat community is to offset a portion of the cost by occasionally renting out the property via Short-term Rental. The ability to do so was a fundamental reason we were able to move forward to purchase our townhome in the first place.

Prior to purchasing the townhome, we confirmed with the City that Short Term Rentals were permitted on the property. In April, a month PRIOR to closing on the purchase we conducted the appropriate due diligence and communicated with the Planning & Community Development department regarding the permitting process as well as conducted the required Pre-submittal Meeting. At that time we were not given any indication that the Short Term Rental policies may be suddenly reversed. Of course had we known at the time, we would never have been able to purchase the townhome in the first place.

Our family was completely devastated to learn that several weeks after we closed on the purchase, despite our communication with the City prior to closing, that we could no longer complete the process for the Short-term Rental permits we were relying on. The sudden moratorium is completely unfair to honest hard-working families such as ours trying to work within the system and will be financially devastating to us.

At a minimum we believe the City needs to provide ample ADVANCE NOTICE of an upcoming change to a policy as significant as this (for example, the City stating that it will stop accepting new applications in 180 days or some other reasonable length of time), otherwise honest people who are trying to do the right thing have no ability to adjust accordingly, as happened in our situation. Had we been given adequate time to react to the moratorium prior to closing we would not have purchased the townhome in the first place, and now our family is faced with a significant financial hardship despite our efforts to work with the City ahead of time.

Furthermore, as it sits today the policy allows for a patchwork of permits and promotes further inequality in the community. For example, Short-term Rental is currently allowed in our neighbors’ half of the duplex but is not allowed in our half based on an arbitrary moratorium date that we had no ability to adjust to?

Lastly, as reasonable people we should all agree that the overwhelming majority of Short-term Renters are good people who don’t cause problems and are contributing to the financial wellbeing of the Steamboat community. Singling out examples of bad apples that have caused occasional problems to justify elimination of new permits entirely is unfair and no more logical than saying Long-term Renters or permanent residents have never had a bad apple or have never created a problem for their neighbors (including by the way, Short-term Rental guests).

We respectfully request that families such as ours that initiated the permit application process prior to the moratorium be allowed to complete the application process as contemplated when we first communicated with the City back in April prior to our closing, which we believe is fair and appropriate.

As it exists today, this policy prioritizes wealthy out of state buyers over everyday folks, and will financially devastate and shut honest hard-working Colorado families such as ours out of the Steamboat community, which is of course the opposite of what the policy is intended to achieve.

yosemite 4 months ago
Page last updated: 11 November 2021, 09:12