Breckenridge short-term rental task force identifies possible zone restrictions
Group suggests separate zones for the resort, main street and neighborhoods
Breckenridge Town Council was updated at its Tuesday, Dec. 14, work session on the progress the town’s Tourism Overlay District Task Force is making.
Rather than one tourism overlay, the group is looking at the possibility of a three-tiered system for short-term rental license zones:
- One around the resort that would have increased opportunities for licenses
- A second around Main Street, where the current number of licenses would stay the same
- A third in residential neighborhoods, where the number of licenses would decrease
“Basically, we’re pushing the short-term rentals out of that zone,” council and task force member Dick Carleton said about the neighborhood zone. “It just felt like there were some areas in town that didn’t fit real well in groups one and three.”
Community Development Director Mark Truckey said the short-term rental license renewal applications for 2022 will open at the end of the month, and that the task force wants to wait until it has more concrete data on the town’s current licensing status before making any decisions related to that.
“We’re thinking by the end of January we’re going to have more real data about what did we lose, if there’s a bunch of attrition here or not,” Truckey said in reference to rental owners’ appetites to pay new license fees. “That’ll help inform our decision about the numbers.”
Task force member and Realtor Abby Epperson said she thinks the task force is making a lot of progress and getting valuable input from all sides of the conversation, but there’s still a ways to go. She said she wants to continue conversations around getting rid of the concept of exempt and nonexempt properties so regulations are more consistent.
After looking at other municipalities’ regulations, Epperson said she likes what unincorporated Summit County came up with as far as resort zones for areas like Keystone and Copper Mountain, meaning any short-term rental in those resort areas is exempt from new regulations.
“I really like being involved because I see all sides, and I do see (another) side of the Town Council members in there,” Epperson said. “They’re really open to all ideas. I really feel like they’re open-minded and that they’re hearing it.”
Epperson also said she thinks the town and county need to create some sort of long-term rental tracking system. She said while she doesn’t want to discourage long-term rentals, there will be no way to gauge how the new systems are working unless long-term rentals can be tracked, too — something municipalities continue to say there is no way for them to do.
Council also discussed whether homes with deed-restrictions would be impacted depending on the zone they land in, but everyone ultimately thought that deed restrictions should trump any potential zone a unit might fall in for short-term renting regulations.
“Everybody has been super engaged and very thoughtful in their input on all sides of every equation, and it’s really just been terrific,” council and task force member Kelly Owens said. “… We have been trying to do things that make sense for the community both in making it easier to get a license or making it so that licenses migrate to areas that have the infrastructure for that.”
Carleton and Owens also said working with the staff in Truckey’s department has been crucial in the process as they consistently provide the task force with information they need to learn about the zones and make decisions.
“I’m glad it’s going the way that it’s going,” Mayor Eric Mamula said. “You never know when you put a task force together if it’s going to be toxic or be a good working group, so thank you all for your patience and your help.”
Carleton said he thinks the task force will continue meeting until it hits at least six months. He said the next meeting is planned for February, when task force members will have the opportunity to look at the latest data with finalized license renewals.
“A lot of people got licenses at the 11th hour,” Carleton said. “We’ll see with the fees higher … how many people want to continue with that strategy.”
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