Letter to the Editor: The short-term rental regulations need more analysis
This letter is regarding the Feb. 15 second reading of Summit County’s vacation rental ordinance. That ordinance is already having an impact on property values throughout unincorporated Summit County. I had hoped a set of regulations so intrusive would have been built on a foundation of analysis anchored to bedrock. Unfortunately, what’s been shown time and time again is that the analysis appears to have been built to fit a certain narrative that provides a basis no sturdier than a foundation of cinderblocks sitting on top of shifting sand. It’s an indefensible position, but one where leadership has chosen to make their stand. Some examples include:
- Implementing a moratorium based on statements about rising short-term rental license applications, when the actual rate of license applications was on a downward trend.
- Driving decisions based on total license counts rather than licenses being used. (Fear of license availability has driven “placeholder“ license counts above 20%.)
- Showing charts of home value appreciation in Summit County without comparing that rate of increase to other counties with very strict rental regulations. (Summit County was only just keeping up with Boulder and Denver counties.)
- Showing “Sales resulting in an short-term rental license” statistic of 39% when the actual net increase was 12% (using Frisco’s method). (The 12% increase was even artificially high itself because of “placeholder“ licenses mentioned above.)
- Relying on a survey where participants could submit multiple entries.
- Leveraging studies from for-profit “economic“ firms that couldn’t withstand the rigors of a true academic analysis lasting just 30 minutes.
With this myriad of issues, I would like to urge Summit County leadership to take a step back, reevaluate the overall direction of the regulations, and make decisions based on thorough and open research. Summit Daily News readers, message me on Facebook for my detailed review.
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