Letter to the Editor: The commissioners landed a gut punch to short-term rental hosts
The Summit Board of County Commissioners recently landed its worst punch ever to 1,400+ Summit hosts. The majority pleaded and even cried with comments while three commissioners laughed, ate and looked completely bored. They knew these regulations on short-term rentals were passing. In doing so, they robbed these hosts of thousands of dollars of their yearly income.
Short-term rentals have been blamed for the lack of employee housing, affordable housing and ruining the residential neighborhoods without the facts. This time they stung many retired residents, families hoping to retire here, some holding on after a partner’s passing, single parents and young families just hoping to stay. Commissioners may have actually increased the affordable housing crisis with these regulations.
Last year the planning department was busy with surveys and town meetings calculating how to kill the short-term rentals business. Then Lawrence found a news broadcast from Palm Springs. They threw up their hands, closed the gathered files and claimed this as brilliant!
If only they had researched the Palms Springs government website, they would have discovered valuable information. Their night caps don’t start until 2026, the 26-night cap was for new permittees, existing hosts capped at 32 bookings plus 4 during high season. House share hosts were exempt. They had years of data on hotline calls with results, an attractive brochure designed for short-term rentals to explain the rules, a monthly newsletter that keeps all the hosts informed and a citizen engagement program. Now that is a great million-dollar investment!
Commissioners passed these rules without a way to enforce it. If they had only researched that government’s site instead of likely watching a two-minute TV broadcast, they would be inspired, educated commissioners with all the facts to make smart decisions.
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