Breckenridge Town Council looks to simplify short-term rental zones
Breckenridge Town Council further discussed short-term rental regulations on Tuesday. This time, council members have directed staff to see what parameters could be set for a potential resort classification for exempt properties as well as looking at land-use guidelines to set overlay zones.
An exempt property is a short-term rental property that is registered as a lodge. They include amenities such as a 24-hour front desk, shuttle buses and security, and they operate more closely to a hotel. However, they do still require short-term rental licenses for each unit.
Because they are considered lodges, they do not pay the town’s short-term rental regulatory fee, which is why they’re called “exempt.” Council members agreed that calling them exempt creates confusion and having a name such as a “resort classification” would make more sense since they operate more like a resort than an Airbnb or VRBO. This could include the implementation of certain criteria in order to be considered one of these resort classified properties, council members said. Town staff plan to come back in a future meeting about what exactly those parameters could be, including square footage and other amenities.
“I definitely agree we have to change the name,” council member Todd Rankin said. “I’m wondering — for whatever we call it going forward in the future — if we can maybe add an application process to that so there’s a high hurdle to entry. That’s to make sure we’re not having 20 new (resort)-type properties. It should be a very high hurdle.”
In addition to exempt status, council members looked at ways to potentially simplify the zones.
Currently, the map focuses on certain neighborhoods or streets that were traditionally long-term housing for residents or ones where there are typically more short-term rentals. Council member Jay Beckerman said he would rather see a simplified or cleaner version of the map. Specifically, land use guidelines — which outlines how dense certain areas of town can be — may be an easier way of mapping out where new licenses can be obtained.
“If there is a way to not call out specific properties, or even locations and just to use the (land use guidelines), then I think that provides us with the strongest backing,” Beckerman said. “It makes each person’s job the easiest possible, and I think it’s the most objective, quantitative way to proceed forward.”
Council members agreed with the Overlay District Committee’s work to create three zones, but where those zones’ borders exist could change. Specifically, council members discussed the proposed Zone 2, which includes most of Main Street and South Ridge Street. In this portion of town, some land use areas have all three zones in them.
“We need to find out how many licenses live in each zone right now … because the numbers should change because of the resort component,” Mayor Eric Mamula said. “Once we find out that, then we can go in and set whatever cap we can agree on — because (some council members) want zero on Zone 3, but others don’t. So that’s the next argument.”
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