If you haven’t been following the recent updates and meetings, unincorporated Summit County is proposing some new regulations on Short Term Vacation Rentals and has been in this process for over 6 months now. Members of SummitCove Lodging have been present at all of the meetings and speaking up for our team and in the interest of our homeowners. Some of the proposed short-term rental regulations include occupancy limits, point of contact requirements, fees, permits and licensing.
SummitCove Property Management represented our homeowners and employees at the continuation of the Board of County Commissioners Meeting in regards to the proposed rental regulations in unincorporated Summit County on November 13th, 2018 at the county courthouse in Breckenridge. During this meeting, the update from the Summit County Staff Member, Kate Berg said they went back to research some specific items the board had requested from the previous October 23rd meeting. They had researched occupancy and could not find any exemptions for children.
From the viewpoint we have in the audience it seems very clear that the BOCC is planning on proceeding with the implementation of these regulations in the near future. Our hopes are to help shape them enough to avoid having a major negative impact on the rentals in Keystone. During the last meeting, we provided alternative language for occupancy, an alternative timeline for the rollout and other very useful changes that will help make this a better set of regulations for everyone. We believe that our effort to completely prevent these regulations in Keystone will fail, but that we will at least be able to reduce the hassle and expense of the application and permitting process for our homeowners in Keystone. We also hope to reduce any negative impacts on rental revenues that will incur if the occupancy requirements pass as proposed.
New Information from this meeting:
– This Proposal was tabled until the December 18th, 2018 meeting at a time and location TBD.
– Delayed until after the 2018/2019 Ski Season. Nothing will be required this ski season, which was clear by the proposed timeline.
– The fee schedule proposed is $150 per year or $350 per year if a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) is required.
– Cost the county estimated: $300,000.00:
– $80,000.00 to a software vendor in Utah
– $220,000.00 a year in payroll and employee expenses for 2.25 employees
The sticking points of the current proposal from our point of view:
The currently proposed occupancy is more restrictive than what is in practice today in many resort condos. Many Studios, 1 bed/ 2 bath, 2 bed /3 bath properties, all properties over 6,000 sq feet and any that sleep more than 20 or properties with bunk rooms will likely exceed the current occupancy proposal requirements and will require a ‘CUP’ (Conditional Occupancy Permit) with no guarantee of permit approval.
The original proposed timeline was to begin the application process on January 15th and set the Filing Date of March 31st, with a proposed renewal date of September 1st. This timeline was completely arbitrary and the county manager effectively told the commissioners that they can and should change this because it was just a bad plan. Obviously, a permitting program for short term rentals should not start during the busiest 75 day period of the year we have. It appears this was just an oversight of the county and they seem to be open to changing the timeline to use mud seasons to our advantage, as well as buy some additional time to get all of the details worked out.
Currently, the proposed regulations would not allow someone who is attempting to purchase a property to advertise their property for 30 days. This is something that would hurt both real estate transactions and rental owners during the busy season when a large number of these properties turn over.
During the BOCC meeting, the county staff was not clear as to how a land use permit would act, it appeared the initial position is the land use permit would be for the homeowner specifically. When a property sold or transferred ownership, a new land use permit would be required. However, for timeshares, the county staff recommended that the land use permit could go with the property, and the property would allow different owners and fractional owners to use the permit. If you have 52 weekly owners you would need 52 permits, or maybe just 1. The issues that came to light during the last meeting regarding the unknown impacts of this regulation were in the spotlight. The county staff did not have clear answers and the fractional ownership managers were clearly frustrated on how little time and attention went into the regulations without consulting the professionals who have been working on this for a while.
If you had a permit and then sold your property in the middle of the permitted time period for vacation rentals, why wouldn’t your permit travel to a new owner for the remainder of the permitted time period? Would the county offer refunds to homeowners for the unused portion of the permitted timeline or prorate the costs??
The language that is used is complex and it appears that the permitting process will require a significant number of properties to attempt to obtain a ‘Conditional Use Permit (CUP) Administrative 2’ which will cause both an increased expense and workload for the homeowners, HOA Managers, and the county staff. The sheer volume of the number of CUP’s required for the county to process was far past the estimates the county was thinking would be required.
SummitCove Property Management will continue to work for our homeowners to represent the views we believe to be both good neighbors in our community as well as protect the rights of our homeowners. For more information feel free to read up on this matter on the Summit County Blog. We will continue to update you as we attend future meetings and hear more information.