CALL TO ACTION::
Send Your Comments on the STR Ordinance to the Summit County Commissioners before the February 15th Meeting!
SAVRM is calling on all of our members, affiliates, vendors and Realtor partners to speak up and advocate for fair and equitable treatment of our part time residents and second homeowners.
The time to speak up for your rights as a property owner or representative in Summit County is NOW. If we do nothing, the ordinance will pass as currently written - with excessively restrictive caps, restrictions on the number of reservations you are allowed to host per year, and outlandish qualifications if you hope to be eligible for any of the proposed "local" exemptions.
The meeting will take place on Wednesday, February 15, 2023 beginning at 9:30am at the BOCC Meeting Room in Breckenridge. While the agenda had not been made public yet, we anticipate a zoom link to be made available for those who cannot attend in person. Keep an eye on your email inbox for further updates from SAVRM as the meeting agenda becomes public and more information becomes available.
Key Ordinance Items to Consider and SAVRM's Position on Each One:
30 RESERVATIONS MAX PER YEAR
The Commissioners pivoted away from a maximum number of nights per year, previously proposed as 135 with negotiations leading up to January 24th that offered a potential concession of up to 180 nights per year for rentals. On January 24th, the BOCC made a last minute change to the ordinance discussions and decided to move to a limited number of reservations per year based upon a Palm Springs ordinance. Their conversation referenced the ability for homeowners to "make up for lost revenue" by changing length of stay requirements so that all bookings would be 5 nights or longer.
As property managers, we know that this 5 night minimum concept is NOT REALISTIC for Summit County. We have many homeowners who prefer to keep minimum stay requirements at 3 nights, 4 nights, or even as low as 2 nights during slower periods of the year. A 5 night minimum is not realistic for Summit County and will result in a dramatic change of the guest profile.
Further, limiting number of bookings per year as low as the currently proposed 30 reservations total will force rates ever higher for guests visiting our destination as homeowners attempt to make up for the periods when they cannot rent. What it will NOT do is create more opportunities for workforce housing or change the BOCC's purported impacts to neighborhoods.
PUNITIVE CAPS REQUIRING 5 YEARS OR MORE OF ATTRITION
The caps being proposed by the BOCC lock down numbers in some areas of Summit County so that it will take five years or longer of attrition before new licenses are to be issued. This of course is a best case scenario that assumes no economic changes for our community or the real estate market overall. This estimate could change if economic factors change.
SAVRM feels that the caps being presented are punitive and excessive, at best. These caps will hurt our local workforce because of a huge reduction in business for service providers such as housekeeping, hot tub maintenance, property inspectors, and other vendors who provide service between guest stays or at the beginning or end of season.
As rental properties decrease and come off of the market, our local workforce will be forced to carry the burden of having to find other work to compensate for their lost income. While the quantity of short term rentals may decrease, workforce housing will not necessarily increase at the same rate. And, with the loss of jobs throughout the County in various sectors, the need for workforce housing will decrease as well.
LICENSE TYPE 3 HAS BEEN ELIMINATED
License Type 3, which provided exemptions to the caps and nightly stay limitations has been eliminated in the most recent ordinance draft. While there were not a tremendous number of properties that took advantage of this license type, it was still of value and offered homeowners of a certain property type to operate their homes as they desired.
SAVRM is advocating for the restoration of the Type 3 license as we believe it is of benefit to homeowners. To claim that the management process was too complicated or that the County needs to simplify licensing categories does not keep your best interests in mind as property owners.
EGREGIOUS REQUIREMENTS IN ORDER TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR EXEMPTION
From employment history to time in the County, there is a laundry list of exemption requirements if you wish to be eligible for exemption to these caps. The requirements set in place must ALL be met if you hope to be qualified for exemption and are not realistic for homeowners.
SAVRM is asking for these exemption requirements to be simplified or removed all together. It is unfair to place value of one "local" over another based on how long we've been in the County. Everyone in Summit County is transient, we all came here from somewhere else and will likely move elsewhere in the future. Whether we have been here for 3 days, 3 months, 3 years or 3 decades - virtually everyone in Summit County is "new" here.
THE SIMILARITIES TO DEED RESTRICTIONS ARE PLENTIFUL
From residency requirements to employment verification, several points of this ordinance are flirting with deed restriction. It is not the right of the BOCC to place such tight restrictions on properties that were not opted into deed restriction in the first place.
SPEAK UP FOR YOUR RIGHTS - BE YOUR OWN ADVOCATE
You as homeowners and those who provide service to those properties have a right to be heard. Stand up and speak for your rights on February 15th.
For added impact and the opportunity to have your voice heard, we are encouraging all of our members and affiliates to identify areas of this ordinance that speak most directly to you as an individual. Craft your message and send it to the Commissioners by Friday, February 10th, so that your recommendations can be considered. Offer constructive ideas that will cause the Commissioners to consider your message. Simply venting about how this ordinance will hurt you isn't going to go far - but offering constructive criticisms and productive points will make a difference.
Email the Commissioners using the contact details below and be sure to include firstname.lastname@example.org on your correspondence.