The Future of Short Term Rentals in Clear Creek County

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Clear Creek County is currently undergoing a review of its regulations that govern short term rentals (aka; vacation rentals, Airbnbs, VRBOs, etc.) with the intent of making revisions that would help better ensure a more stable supply of housing for long-term residents and employees who work in the County.

The County Commissioners first adopted regulations for short term rentals in December, 2017. At that time, the number of short term rentals operating in unincorporated Clear Creek County (outside of the municipalities) was estimated to be around 120 to 140. Since 2017, the number of STRs has remained stable, with the exception of 2020 when the number of STRs being advertised dropped to about 100; probably due to COVID stay-at-home restrictions. This year, the number of advertisements has increased back to roughly 120 to 130.

The current regulations allow any legally-constructed residential unit in the County to obtain a Permit as long as certain requirements are met including providing adequate off-street parking, adequate garbage disposal, adequate fire protection measures if outdoor fire pits/grills are used, and a limitation of no more than eight (8) guests per rental (additional guests are allowed on larger parcels of property under certain conditions). A sales tax license must be obtained to assure remittance of sales and lodging taxes to the County.

The County Commissioners have asked County staff and the Planning Commission to review the regulations to assure they are not adversely impacting the County's long term housing stock for residents and workers, and to recommend revisions if necessary.

Currently, the Planning Commission is having a series of working sessions to study the issue, review current information, hear from the public and stakeholders, and discuss alternatives. Once the Planning Commission feels they have a good grasp of the issues and direction, they will hold a formal public hearing to consider specific draft revisions and make a formal recommendation to the Board of County Commissioners. After which a public hearing wil be held by the Commissioners to consider the Planning Commission's recommendation, hear from the public and make a final decision on the draft revisions.

Public comment and participation is an important part of this process, and the Planning Commission wants to hear from you to help formulate a good recommendation that takes into consideration the concerns and thoughts of the public and stakeholders. Therefore, we ask if you would take some time to review current information that is on this project page and to give us your thoughts on what the county should do with short term rentals!

Clear Creek County is currently undergoing a review of its regulations that govern short term rentals (aka; vacation rentals, Airbnbs, VRBOs, etc.) with the intent of making revisions that would help better ensure a more stable supply of housing for long-term residents and employees who work in the County.

The County Commissioners first adopted regulations for short term rentals in December, 2017. At that time, the number of short term rentals operating in unincorporated Clear Creek County (outside of the municipalities) was estimated to be around 120 to 140. Since 2017, the number of STRs has remained stable, with the exception of 2020 when the number of STRs being advertised dropped to about 100; probably due to COVID stay-at-home restrictions. This year, the number of advertisements has increased back to roughly 120 to 130.

The current regulations allow any legally-constructed residential unit in the County to obtain a Permit as long as certain requirements are met including providing adequate off-street parking, adequate garbage disposal, adequate fire protection measures if outdoor fire pits/grills are used, and a limitation of no more than eight (8) guests per rental (additional guests are allowed on larger parcels of property under certain conditions). A sales tax license must be obtained to assure remittance of sales and lodging taxes to the County.

The County Commissioners have asked County staff and the Planning Commission to review the regulations to assure they are not adversely impacting the County's long term housing stock for residents and workers, and to recommend revisions if necessary.

Currently, the Planning Commission is having a series of working sessions to study the issue, review current information, hear from the public and stakeholders, and discuss alternatives. Once the Planning Commission feels they have a good grasp of the issues and direction, they will hold a formal public hearing to consider specific draft revisions and make a formal recommendation to the Board of County Commissioners. After which a public hearing wil be held by the Commissioners to consider the Planning Commission's recommendation, hear from the public and make a final decision on the draft revisions.

Public comment and participation is an important part of this process, and the Planning Commission wants to hear from you to help formulate a good recommendation that takes into consideration the concerns and thoughts of the public and stakeholders. Therefore, we ask if you would take some time to review current information that is on this project page and to give us your thoughts on what the county should do with short term rentals!

Would you be in favor of limiting STRs to homes of primary residents only?

Many communities (for example, the City of Idaho Springs) are enacting regulations to limit short term rentals to primary residents only; ie; homeowners who's home is their primary residence and not their second or third residence.  By doing this, property owners are still able to use their primary home for income by renting it out when they are out of town, or renting a room(s) out, and discourage out-of-town individuals from purchasing a home in Clear Creek County for the purpose of renting it out as an STR for income purposes.

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Yes. I have 2 duplexes on my block that are STRs and the people are always out of state and never here to deal with issues.

RJ 26 days ago

yes, we need the owner to be around for any issue and respond. At Silver Lake we have many STR apartments. None of the owners reside in the building. Often we have to contact them via email to report loud and noisy guests they have. I prefer the owner od SRT reside in the same building.

baboli43 27 days ago

Yes I would be in favor of limiting STRs to homes of primary residents only and with strict enforcement of appropriate permitting and taxation measures. There are at least 5 full time STR homes in my vicinity all of which are non-compliant. There should be appropriate enforcement staff hired. These STRs regularly cause issue as the guests are not monitored and often act in direct violation of County Directives. This causes concerning safety issues for primary residents. Much like the national parks are restricting and registering visitors we need to engage better management of the STRs. At high elevations in rural parts of the county, Clear Creek lacks the infrastructure for an abundance of unmanaged STRs with regard to Road and Bridge, Fire, and other Emergency Management Services. Most of the STR users in my area purchase supplies "down the hill" and do not contribute any financial benefit to Clear Creek County. If these homes were available as long term rentals I expect there would be a clear benefit to the County financially as well as offer a reasonably priced dwelling for a worker that could otherwise not afford to purchase a home to come to Clear Creek County. There is an obvious increase of "homeless" persons dwelling in cars and tents in rural Clear Creek County and these persons being availed of appropriately priced LTRs would benefit the Clear Creek County Community as a whole and provide a needed increase in local workforce.

mcmiles 28 days ago

I rent my home 50% of the year and live and work here when it's not rented. It's my primary residence. Having STR's Improves the neighborhood. I believe that buyers, investors and builders, with the intention of making it a STR should be allowed to do so. Limited to 6% of the number of residences in the district.

The problem is not STRs it's not have enough lower income housing is it is in all mountain towns..

If the goal is to make STRs into long term rentals it won't work-most workers would not be able to afford the monthly cost.

As someone said in the meeting last night-I agree that the town should set aside land to develop low income housing and apartments. Buying up the run down motels and converting them to three or four story apartments..

I'd like to participate with the design and construction of those..

Best,

William Wunderlich

Wunderlich Design

William Wunderlich 2 months ago

No. Let alone that governments should not be overly restrictive to the use of private property, my honest question would be "why?".

Reading Bob and Linda's comment upsets me that the county may be collecting fees and not actually enforcing any of the regulations. It would be disheartening not to have direct contact with your neighbor in such instances. If memory serves, one of the regulations addresses this; where direct neighbors are supposed to be informed and supplied with the contact information of the manager of the STR. Residents should be encouraged to contact the homeowner/property manager when experiencing problems with guests of the homeowner.

If STRs are too noisy, enforce the regulations around noise and write regulations around punitive measures if homeowners ignore repeated attempts to control the premise. Up to and including forfeiture of a permit.
If STRs are driving home costs higher or increasing demand, this is good for the county and its residents (especially other homeowners!). Anyone under the employ of the county would also surely benefit from a pay raise given that there would be more money from taxation.
If STRs attract folks from out-of-town, then there are more people spending more money in our county. If STRs attract new builds, then our county is growing and this is good. Right?
If STR managers are unresponsive to repeated attempts to comply with regulations, then we should regulate some punitive measures that can be taken in equal response.
If STRs spoil the plans of corporate hospitality management companies, this is competitive capitalism at its finest in my opinion. Giving consumers the choice on how to spend their money.

If there are more reasons that this should be considered, then I think we should also hear those so they can be directly considered. Don't forget that STRs generate income for folks other than the STR owner.

zvgriffin 2 months ago

No. This is a trojan horse for people that want to rid their neighborhoods of Short Term rentals. I personally do not stay in any short-term rental where the owner of the property is in the next room or upstairs. I would rather stay in a hotel if that was going to be the case. I like to stay in unique properties that I would not normally get to stay in. There are very few short term rentals where the homeowners "live" on the property as a primary residence.

Counties that have enforced this were trying to find ways of eliminating STR by people who are misinformed about STR and choose to ban them rather than enforce sensible limitations to them.

People who come from out of state and buy vacation homes and rent them out not only pay the same amount in property taxes as the person living there but actually pay more in lodging tax. Income is claimed on tax returns and Federal, State and local income tax applies. Occupants of these short-term rentals spend money locally as well. STR are a win, win, win for everyone except the hotel lobby and crumungeon, angry neighbors.

thandocalrissian 2 months ago

Personally, I would absolutely not be in favor of this, and it would be devastating for families who already purchased second homes in the area. We own a second home in Clear Creek County, and we purchased it to frequently enjoy the mountains as a family with young children and be a member of the community, until a point when we have the ability to move to the area full-time. We use it as often as we can, and the main reason it is viable is because we can rent it while not in use; however, it is not a "for-profit" operation by any means. I support and follow all applicable laws and regulations, pay for my permit, and we are boosting the local economy every time we rent it out since those people are often eating local, buying local goods, and paying for activities in the local community. It would be certain that, if this were implemented, I would NOT rent it long-term. It would simply sit idle while we were not using it and bring in no money to the local economy; it would put significant financial strain on us, but we would do it because we love being in the area. I would bet this is a common case with owners of STRs in this county, since it’s not necessarily as “touristy” as Summit, Eagle, Grand, or others; we didn’t buy this home to make profit off tourism rentals. A potential option may be to limit the number of homes a single individual or entity could get STR permits for, essentially restricting a larger "for-profit" business from owning and operating more than a few rentals. At a minimum, current owners who are not full-time residents should be grandfathered in, if the intention is to discourage further people from purchasing a home strictly for STR. That being said, I think getting rid of STRs other than residents’ homes would be a significant negative impact to the local tourism economy as tourists would simply find STRs in nearby places like Summit County or Grand County instead; many people don't want to stay in a hotel and are looking for a different experience that only a STR can provide, especially considering COVID and the future of tourism from its effects.

MTB22 2 months ago

No I would not be in favor. It would drastically lower property values and hurt local businesses and tourism.

rdatteri 2 months ago

We are completely in favor of this idea as a start. The owner of the short term rental next door to us lives in Florida and uses this property exclusively for a rental. We have asked the County several times to verify if he is in compliance with the County regulations regarding having the proper inspections and paying for the proper permits or paying sales taxes. We have never heard back and we believe that our County has many more STR's that are in operation that the county doesn't know about that are not regulated. Even though our preference would be to not allow STRs at all we urge the County to at least do a better job in enforcing the regulations on the ones that do exist.

Bob or Linda Seavey 2 months ago