Letter to the Editor: Short-term rentals are commercial enterprises, not neighbors, and deserve scrutiny

Chris Daly
Blue River

Some compelling reporting in recent back-to-back Summit Daily News articles on short-term rentals. Fifteen mountain commissioners: AirBnB chooses facts to craft a story that is not true, especially on negative impacts. Breckenridge: Exempt short-term rentals handle issues without using town resources. Frisco: Little reporting from residents on short-term rental complaints.

My take away? Data is used craft any story you want. In my neighborhood, nearly all moves from owner/long-term rentals occupied has gone to short-term rentals. And, I’ve been told that I need to make complaints for all issues. No one asked me to become a code enforcer for neighboring short-term rentals. And, who wants to be “that guy” anyway? The playground snitch running to teacher. When did the quiet enjoyment of my home come to include a demand that I complain?

There is a lot to complain about short-term rentals in single family residential neighborhoods: ranging from street-facing party tubs, loud parties, second hand weed, speeding, micro trash, noxious weeds, on-street parking, overloaded houses, increased traffic from service staff and repairs, dust, unprepared vehicles blocking roads, 24/7 lighting, outside fires, nonessential over use of utilities, attracting wildlife, trespassing, no spending on landscaping or wildfire mitigation, pet waste, public urination. Are all these law violations? No. But each is a violation of neighborly courtesy. Do all these happen incessantly in each short-term rentals? No. But I could make one complaint every day on one of them. 

With neighbors, you show up with a bottle of wine or some home-baked cookies and talk it through. You don’t complain to the government. Homes as short-term rentals are not neighbors. They are commercial enterprises in single-family residential zones and residents as complainers is a strategy doomed to marginalize residents.

Welcome to more Summit Slums for the one percenters.

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