Breckenridge Town Council seeks to add occupancy requirements for short-term rentals, passes on water fee hike |

Breckenridge Town Council seeks to add occupancy requirements for short-term rentals, passes on water fee hike

BRECKENRIDGE — At Breckenridge Town Council’s Tuesday work session, the council struck down a proposed ordinance to raise the water usage rates for short-term rental units.

The ordinance was proposed because of a major spike in water use from January to March. The town is adding onto the new water plant in order to meet the need created during peak ski season.

The cost of expanding the water plant led to the proposal to charge short-term rental units a higher water use fee. However, when looking at water usage over the course of a year, the short-term rental units, which are not occupied full time, were fairly even with other units in Breckenridge. 

A look at the data showed water use in short-term rentals spikes from January to March, while water use in year-round rentals or residential properties spikes in the summer.

Council decided against raising water rates for short-term rentals, believing a higher rate was unfair.

“I felt it was an indefensible position over the course of the year to slap on a higher rate,” Breckenridge Mayor Eric Mamula said. 

Council scrapped the water ordinance but decided to move forward with another proposed short-term rental ordinance addressing occupancy limits for rentals. The ordinance requires that short-term rental units mention the occupancy limit in the advertisement listing. 

Occupancy limits are set by the town based on a standardized method of counting two people per bedroom plus four people for additional living space. Council proposed an amendment to the ordinance that allows for an appeal process if a rental unit owner does not agree with the set occupancy limit or if the unit has been updated. 

The short-term rental ordinances will be discussed further at the next town council meeting Sept. 10.

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