Summit County reviewing 3,000+ applications for short-term rental permits with June 1 deadline approaching
Summit County rolled out its regulations for short-term rental properties on unincorporated county land in March. Since then, the county has received thousands of permit applications from property owners, and the county’s planning department said it’s taking much longer than anticipated to process them.
At the Summit Board of County Commissioner’s regular work session Tuesday morning, county Planning Director Don Reimer and planning technician Danelle Hood gave a rundown of where things stand with the regulatory system in its first three months. The deadline for applications is June 1, and after June 30, any properties renting out units for 30 or fewer days without a permit will be considered in violation of county code.
As of Tuesday, the county recorded 3,022 applications for short-term rental permits. Of those applications, 105 have been approved. Seventeen were denied — mostly because they were properties outside the county’s jurisdiction. Reimer said the county expects 4,000 to 4,500 total applications by the June 1 deadline.
The county has collected $317,830 in permit application fees. Applicants who were rejected due to rectifiable clerical errors got their money back.
Hood said the process for getting through the applications has taken much longer than expected. It takes an average of 10 minutes for a county worker in each of the four county departments involved in the process to review each application, and with thousands to get through, the process has been a slog.
Hood said the county still plans on getting the “vast majority” of applications reviewed by June 30 but that there will be a smaller portion of applications with more complex situations that will take more time to process.
Pending applicants who have not received a confirmation email from the county approving or denying their application will be safe from enforcement beyond June 30 until their application is reviewed.
From the applicant side of the system, there have been a few technical glitches that Hood said the county is working to correct with the software developer. Some issues appear to be related to specific browsers, and Hood advised applicants to use Chrome or Firefox browsers to fill out their applications.
Hood also urged applicants to review FAQs and instructions the county has uploaded to the permit application page for many of the common issues users are facing. For example, short-term rental permit holders for properties in the town of Breckenridge cannot use the same login for unincorporated Summit properties and will need to create a new account.
In general, the planning department also asked that permit applicants have all the information they need for the application handy, including their sales tax license information, a simplified version of their trash disposal plan, and whether they have a well or municipal water.
The commissioners also were apprised of the state of the short-term rental complaint monitoring system, which has been accepting complaints for properties since January and will log those complaints with individual properties after they are permitted.
Since January, the vendor STR Helper received 45 complaints. Of the complaints, 25 were related to parking, 14 to noise, three to improper trash disposal and two to pets. There was a single trespassing complaint.
To lodge a complaint against a short-term rental unit about nonemergency issues such as parking, noise, traffic or other nuisances, residents may call STR Helper at 970-368-2044 or submit their complaint online through the county’s short-term rental portal at SummitCountyCO.gov/STR.
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