Silverthorne updates short-term rental ordinance to address transfers, renewals and revocations, and a potential waitlist in the future

Silverthorne divide the town into three areas for short term rentals.
STR Map Town of Silverthorne

Nearly eight months after Silverthorne established short-term rental licensing zones the Town Council approved finalized changes to its short-term rental ordinance at the council meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 13. The changes were approved by the council members in a unanimous vote.

The town initially adopted short-term rental regulations in 2018, which mainly covered applications, license fees and nuisanced issues like trash rules and occupancy limits. Given the town’s experiences with rentals over the past five years and the January changes in licensing to include capped zones, the town’s staff felt the current regulations needed to be evaluated and updated. In July, the council members provided additional feedback to town staff as they looked to address impacts of the addition of zones to the 2018 regulation. Afterwards, the staff presented their proposed changes to the current regulations, which included addressing a potential license waitlist, renewing and revoking licenses, and license transfers.

Potential for a waitlist

Due to the fact that the town put those caps into place, some administrative changes had to happen, including preparing for the implementation of a waitlist in the future. The January ordinance put a cap of 740 short-term rental licenses across the various zones in the town. Currently, the town has 345 short-term rental licenses

Still, in anticipation that at some point in the future the caps set will be hit, the town is planning for the possibility of having a waitlist. 

To be placed on the waitlist, an applicant must complete and submit a waitlist application. There will also be a non-refundable waitlist application fee, which is separate from the short-term license application fee. 

Once a license is available in a specific zone, town staff will contact the next person on that zone’s waitlist via email. From there, the person on the waitlist will have 14 days to submit a license application. If a complete application is not received within 14 days, the license would be denied and the applicant would lose their placement on the waitlist.

License renewal and revocation

Silverthorne also made changes to short-term rental license renewals in order to address problems that have arisen over the past five years.

“Sometimes people don’t apply for renewals for their licenses, and we can see that they are no longer continuing to rent. In those cases, we’d like to have the ability to administratively close those license accounts,” said Laura Kennedy, the town director of finance and administrative services. 

In addition to having the ability to close accounts that are no longer being used, the town also now has the ability to revoke a short-term license. This would only occur if a rental is found being operated in a way that is out of compliance with the license, the issuance of the license was in error, or if an applicant provided false or misleading information in their application.

A license would also be subject to revocation if three or more formal complaints are lodged against the property within a span of 12 months.

In Silverthorne, a short-term rental license expires on Nov. 30 of the calendar year following the year of initial license issuance, or when title of the short-term rental transfers to a new owner. An application for renewal of a short-term rental property license must be submitted at least 30 days prior to expiration of the existing license — by Oct. 30 each year.

There are currently no limit on the length a license can be held for owner-occupied properties.

Transfer of a license

The town also clarified which circumstances would allow the ownership of a short-term license to be transferred. 

The changes also address the transfer of a license with in immediate families. The grantor may also transfer the ownership to a trust established by the grantor. 

A transfer can also occur if the grantor wishes to transfer to a limited liability company or another form of business entity recognized by Colorado law.

In recognition of the need for business owners to protect themselves from litigation by forming a LLC, Silverthorne is also making an exception to its real estate transfer tax for second-home owners who transfer a property to an LLC that they own.

A transfer may also occur if in the case of death pursuant to a will or between the same parties creating or terminating a joint tenancy on a property.

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