Letter to the editor: Proposed Breckenridge short-term rental cap is haphazard
The current proposal to cap the issuance of short-term rental licenses is a haphazard attempt to address multiple individual interests. The proposal is expected to reduce the number of revenue-generating tourists, reduce nuisance complaints and somehow increase long-term rental housing.
Rather than achieving the goals of the Breckenridge Town Council, this proposal recklessly reduces the value of second-home neighborhoods that have successfully enhanced the quality of life and fabric of Breckenridge for decades. The current system of allocating exempt licenses solely favors wealthy corporations who run privileged 24-hour concierge services. Existing nonexempt license attrition will be random, based solely on reasons why someone decides to sell their property. New nonexempt licenses will be distributed solely based on a queue. This will result in unplanned scattering of licenses rather than thoughtful community planning.
Further, we have no insight on how the proposal will impact city budgets, city services and viability of local businesses. The current proposal looks more like a game of whack-a-mole using a hammer to reduce short-term rental licenses and then later dealing with what pops up.
The council needs to address the about-face from previously approving and relying on these short-term rental neighborhoods to enhance the community to now attacking these same communities as undermining the character of the town and punitively reducing their property values. A simple solution is to use community planners to look at each neighborhood and establish community purpose, proximity to the resort, historical rental use (short or long term) and the community impacts of the neighborhood on traffic congestion, nuisances, day-use parking, bus frequency, etc.
Through active community planning, we can preserve neighborhoods that traditionally support locals and neighborhoods that traditionally support short-term rentals.
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