Snowmass Village Council Intervenes in Short-Term Rental Discussion |
Snowmass Village City Council discussed what the city should do, if anything, to regulate short-term rental properties at its regular meeting on Monday.
And, while the board members themselves had many opinions regarding rental properties less than 30 days old, it has proven difficult to develop a real policy to regulate STRs.
“I don’t know if we have a problem here, but I’ve read about it in all the other mountain communities that it’s a problem,” councilor Tom Fridstein said of RTS. “But we should look at it, making sure we are sufficiently protected against abuse. … I can’t tell you anything more because I don’t understand the problem.
Whether it’s Pitkin County, the Town of Aspen or the Town of Snowmass Village, the need to preserve the “community character” comes up in most official discussions related to short-term rental regulations. .
No official vote was taken by Snowmass Village City Council regarding RTS on Monday. Instead, the board asked staff to identify specific issues related to STRs and develop possible regulations to address those concerns.
“When we lived in Aspen, before we made the smart choice to come to Snowmass, we owned half of our duplex and the people next to us rented out, and it was awful. I mean, they terrorized us, ”Councilor Alyssa Shenk said. “I will also say, however, that I appreciate people who want to be able to get their little slice of heaven and come here. And the only way for them to do that is to rent out their property every now and then.
Snowmass Village Police Chief Brian Olson said he had more anecdotal information than data regarding the police department’s involvement in STRs.
“It doesn’t have enough of an impact on our call volume that I think we’re going to be drawn into the conversation,” Olson said ahead of Monday’s city council meeting. “I don’t have much to offer. I don’t have much to add.
Snowmass Village carries out a transitional inventory study every three years and according to its most recent, carried out in 2018, the city has 1,699 short-term rental units, including 880 in hotel rooms, 735 in condos and 84 in private residences. .
“This private home number is the one we think is weak,” said Clint Kinney, City Manager for Snowmass Village. “We are not convinced that  the number is right.
In total, the municipality has around 4,768 housing units and dwellings.
A landlord who uses sites like Airbnb or VRBO to rent out their short-term rental in Snowmass Village does not need a business license in the city. Instead, companies like Airbnb or VRBO hold a business license and pay sales and accommodation taxes to the city on behalf of the owner of a short-term rental property.
Short-term rental owners who manage their own property must hold an Individual Business License.
Of the 10.4% sales tax imposed on purchases at Snowmass Village, 3.5% goes to the town itself. The remainder of sales tax revenue collected in Snowmass Village goes to the state (2.9%), Pitkin County (3.6%), and the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (0.4%).
In addition to the sales tax, the city itself also has a 2.4% lodging tax, which it collects on short stays of less than 30 days.
Kinney was convinced that companies like Airbnb and VRBO were paying enough sales and accommodation taxes to the city.
“We were one of the first municipalities in the state to do these contracts with these guys, so we think it really improved the [tax] collection, ”Kinney said. “So far, all we’ve focused on is collecting taxes.
A few residents spoke at Monday’s city council meeting, including Gary Doehling, who wanted to see more STR regulations in place to protect homeowners like him. Doehling has raised concerns that his neighbors are using their property as a short-term rental.
“We saw a lot of cars there. We saw a lot of groups come in. They have an outside hot tub; groups go to the hot tub. They drink, they make noise, ”Doehling said. “He’s not a neighbor; It’s a hotel. It’s a business that happens alongside us.
However, others like Mike George believed that the board should not regulate STRs as a knee-jerk reaction to a problem it did not fully understand.
“It’s real estate prices that are the driving problem… pushing the workforce further. I’ll tell you, just for the record, I don’t think people are going to rent their multi-million dollar homes to our workforce, ”said George. “Capping STRs is not going to magically produce a large housing base for our workforce. The property values are too high.