Should we increase short-term rentals from 30 to 90 days?

This post is written and paid for by Jackson Hole Working

JACKSON, Wyo.– Short-term rentals are being discussed throughout the community. The accommodation overlay, located in the heart of downtown, is where this usage primarily lives in the city.

We currently see this use on Glenwood Street and the proposed buildings where the accommodation overlay is in place.

The City of Jackson will discuss whether to extend the shortest rental term for a unit (apartment, condo, townhouse, single family home) from 30 days to 90 days. These are not short-term rentals in the Accommodation Overlay; these are private properties held throughout the city in different areas.

What are we going to gain by increasing the term from 30 days to 90 days?

Some might tell you which housing units will go to labor. However, few of these rentals will be available for long-term rental to local workers and their families.

If these actions freed up dozens of housing units for workers and local families, we would see the merit; however, there is no indication that this will be the case.

Others will say we will close the loophole that allows people to rent their homes for 30 days while only living in the property for one or even two weeks.

Yes, the people of Jackson are using this “loophole” to rent out their homes; however, many do so to offset property taxes or supplement their income to pay for the rising costs of almost everything in our community.

With rising property tax costs, does it make sense to tie residents’ hands with choices that allow them to stay in Jackson?

Are these rented units, perhaps a few times a year, worth proposing an action when many of them are inhabited by inhabitants and will therefore not be a housing stock?

And those who don’t belong to the locals, is it better to have dark and empty houses?

These units are private property and regulations such as those proposed represent a taking of these rights.

Political decisions to address “neighbourhood character” with unintended consequences for residents will not advance housing in our community.

Unintended consequences would include traveling nurses or doctors on four- or eight-week contracts would no longer be eligible to rent residential accommodation. A newly recruited Powerline Technician or LVE teacher who finds a rental that begins a month or two after starting work would have no choice but a hotel room or a short-term rental until beginning of his lease, even if a residential unit was available. A full-time Teton County family with a 30 or 60 day gap between losing a lease and moving into a property with a new lease would not be able to rent a residential unit during that gap. There is no flexibility for day-to-day, real-life situations.

The application of these rules is also a problem. With city staffing at a minimum, why do we continue to create bylaws that require additional enforcement when we cannot enforce what is currently on the books?

Let’s focus on getting affordable housing on the ground.

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