Summit Daily letters: The who, what, where, why and how of county’s short-term rental regulations |

Summit Daily letters: The who, what, where, why and how of county’s short-term rental regulations

The who, what, where, why and how of county’s short-term rental regulations

Who? Who are the owners that offer rooms, condos or homes in unincorporated Summit? The county doesn’t have the answer but they seem to think we need to be regulated. Sept. 17 was the fourth meeting on the subject, yet the planning committee offered no numbers and have never made an effort to contact the rental owners for their valuable input.

What? What regulations are needed to make our dwellings safe for the renters’ health and to save the character of our community? It appears 90 percent of the proposed regulations are codes and ordinances already on the books but not enforced. And the new regulations will limit the parking of cars and heads. Many rental owners present responded to these new regulations in ways that would cut their income in half if they comply or require many, many additional permits to continue operating. And why wouldn’t these new regulations include long-term rentals as well? In my condo complex we have one long-term rental out of forty condos. They have three cars for the same size long-term rental that only one car would be allotted for a STR. And who knows how many heads are on those pillows every night.

Where? Just where are all these STRs located in the county? At our last meeting, Copper and Keystone Resorts were reported to have a large majority of these short-term rentals. These resorts were designed and have been operating as STRs for decades. Both these areas have HOAs with strict codes, resort fees and PUD fees that keep the resorts safe and work to enhance the community. So these new county regulations are meant to duplicate rules that we are paying big bucks for already.

Why? Just tell us how many complaints are on record for violations imposed on STRs in the county in the last three years. Are they becoming a concern due to the steadily growing number or the intensity of the offense? No one knows. Either the data has not been calculated or is it so minimal that the reports do not separate the 911 calls related to STR units or the codes that have been violated. Or maybe there are so few on record there just isn’t a why or even a reason to propose stated STR regulations.

How? I saved the best for last. How will these regulations be enforced? How will the rental owners be notified of the new required “permit to rent” when the county doesn’t even know who they are? The majority of these property owners do not live in Summit so the community government pages of the Summit Daily won’t be read by them. The county planning department has no way of connecting with these owners for their input. Just how will they find them once a permit is required to continue to rent? Oh yeah, let’s not forget the out-of-county (may even be out-of-state) company that has the software to handle the STR blog that would create a hotline to handle all the complaints. Yeah, lets hire a remote company to deal with these calls. Think about it: last week Breckenridge had a huge power outage, so imagine all the hotline calls from short-term renters calling a person from who knows where to report no power. This person would have had to call many “owners” or “second contact managers” to inform them of the complaint when in reality the problem was town-wide. Now the property would have a complaint that requires a callback within one hour or the owner would drive 30 miles to respond for no reason. Besides, how will a short-term renter find a blog hotline number in the first place? Or how will a neighbor find this number or form to report a parking or trash problem? And get this: the permit fee of several hundred dollars a year will mainly go toward paying for this company. Say we have 5,000 STRs in the county, at say a $200 annual fee. That amounts to $1 million dollars leaving the county every year! Let that sink in for a minute.

The community comments from the night were looking for answers and to ask the county to please “put on the brakes,” sit back, gather the info required and conduct a community impact report to do this fairly and responsibly. What is the rush? Can we return in September 2019 to discuss these regulations after the studies have been calculated and data shared.

Patty Blank


Former Lt. Governor endorses Julie McCluskie for state house

I had the honor of serving as the Lt. Governor of Colorado from 2011-16 and, during that time, I worked alongside Julie McCluskie, now a candidate for House District 61. She served as the director of communications and community outreach and I had the opportunity to witness her commitment to Colorado every single day. Our shared focus was education, from early childhood to post-graduate, and Julie led the way in helping to develop policies that served all kids and all families, regardless of where they lived or their family background. She traveled the state with me as we visited schools and libraries to raise awareness about the importance of early literacy and she helped formulate the policy that led to the passage of the READ Act to improve third grade literacy.

Julie was also a strong advocate for rural Colorado and her commitment to communities west of the continental divide was unwavering. She and her husband established a small business in Summit County decades ago and she has been active as a parent, a volunteer and a school district employee. She has been an outstanding public servant and I hope the voters in her district will join me in supporting her election to the Colorado legislature. I can think of no individual better qualified to serve in that role.

Joe Garcia

Former Lt. Governor of Colorado


A push for Polis

A recent article in Colorado Politics reported that an organization called Americans for Prosperity, the political advocacy group backed by the Koch brothers will invest heavily in three Republican candidates; Walker Stapleton, the gubernatorial candidate, Tim Neville (Senate District 16) and Christine Jensen (Senate District 20) in the upcoming November election.

Upwards of $1 million might be shunted to the Stapleton race alone for TV ads and mailers.

The aim of this financial investment is to elect the candidates who will push the Trump agenda of dismantling our public schools, tax cuts for corporations, attacks on reproductive health, stripping health care from hundreds of thousands and privatization of our public lands.

Jared Polis, the Democratic candidate for governor, on the other hand is running a grassroots campaign. Polis for Colorado is not accepting donations over $100 total from individuals, and is not accepting any Political Action Committee (PAC) contributions. He believes that all Coloradans should have an equal stake in our state’s future and has worked to build a people powered campaign.

The differences in this fight could not be more stark. Polis is fighting to expand opportunity for Colorado families with affordable health care, better wages, and more school funding and is up against an agenda that will make life harder for Coloradans, with less health coverage, decimated retirement benefits, and underfunded schools.

Do we as Coloradans want our health care, education, living wages and our public lands to be hijacked by special interests and Big Money?

Say no to the Koch brothers. Do not let the negative TV ads and circulars lead you down a path that will be disastrous for our state.

Jared Polis is the people’s choice for our next governor.

Rose Pray


Time to address our health care crisis

Gubernatorial candidate Jared Polis came to Summit County to unveil his health care plan for all of Colorado (Summit Daily, Sept. 18). We have all read many articles in the Summit Daily telling us about the incredibly high health care costs here and all over Colorado. I applaud him for having the courage to address this issue and make a proposal to improve the situation; however, I would like to see a single-payer proposal for Colorado and the U.S.

Having a single payer, like Medicare, can cut administrative costs in half, saving up to $500 billion dollars annually. Negotiating drug and medical device prices can save $150 billion a year. These types of savings are more than enough to cover all Americans’ health care, with no co-pays or deductibles.

Don’t think this means someone will be telling you where to go or which doctor to see — care remains private with free choice of doctors and hospitals. Also, health decisions would be made by you and your doctor, not an insurance company.

It’s unbelievable to me that 30 million Americans are uninsured and another 40 million are under-insured. For more information on how a single-payer national health program would work, go to the website for Physicians for a National Health Program at This organization has been around since 1989 advocating for single-payer ­— the time is indeed upon us.

Phyllis Ohlemacher

Frisco and Denver

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