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More decisions on short-term rental regulations made Thursday in Colorado Springs

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The Colorado Springs City Council, having already approved occupancy limits for short-term rental units, voted 5-4 Thursday for more regulations.

The council decided that new STRs can no longer be in residential neighborhoods unless the owner lives on site for at least 180 days, and that a rental must be at least 500 feet from another rental unless it's owner-occupied for the required period.

The council stressed the presence of rental owners in being present to address any problems; most current rentals are not owner-owned or owner-occupied.

"Is it perfect? No," said Councilwoman Yolanda Avila. "But it's a good starting point. We or a future council can come back and make changes as needed."

'I don't like it," said Council President Richard Skorman. It's too restrictive."

Council members approved regulations for the first time last year but want to strengthen those regulations and enforce them, as the growing number of businesses nears 1,300.

The council is concerned about an unknown number of businesses that aren't registered, licensed, paying the proper amount of taxes or following current regulations.

The council heard public comment from around 30 people Thursday, then discussed the matter before voting at the end of the four-hour meeting.

"I don't understand the why behind this," said Jeff Thomas, an STR owner. "I haven't seen any data to support these regulations."

Josh Kolnitys, an STR manager and owner, fears that the regulations will increase prices for guests by reducing the number of available lodging units.

"People like STRs because they want something different than a hotel," he said.

But others in the audience said they understand the need for regulations and think the vote represents an acceptable compromise.

"We need STRs," a woman said. "They're a source of income for people. They allow a family member to work from home. And they're what people are looking for."

Thursday's vote was a first reading of the proposed ordinance amendments. The matter becomes official after a second reading before the end of the year.

The council also debated whether STRs are legally and technically commercial properties that should be valued, assessed and taxed as such.

"That's something the El Paso County assessor has to decide," Skorman said.

The council also is waiting for the results of a consultant to determine how many STRs are not in compliance and subject to fines. The city would be responsible for enforcing the regulations.

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Scott Harrison

Scott is a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about Scott here.

Comments

11 Comments

    1. This is violating the constitution: The 5th Amendment of the Constitution, which says “private property [shall not] be taken for public use, without just compensation.” By regulating and zoning, these council members are directly/indirectly “taking” properties of owners who are forced to sell their STR homes. So what justice are these laws and regulations? If council members want to make properties more affordable, is that “public use through social engineering,” forgo homeowners’ rights, and abandon the Constitution? Very disheartening!

      1. How do you figure the government is taking any property for public use. The owners that are renting out residential property are the ones that are changing the classification from residential to commercial and no one is suggesting that these residences become public properties. The City, County and / or State are within their bounds to regulate businesses and tax accordingly.

        1. Doesn’t make any sense! Hair stylists and working from home workers — their houses are considered a public as well? Of course not, but hard to admit that!

        2. It is a resounding public usage, social engineering, and unconstitutional. A law professor laid it out here — just google it:

          “Airbnb and the Housing Segment of the
          Modern “Sharing Economy”:
          Are Short-Term Rental Restrictions an
          Unconstitutional Taking?”

    2. One law professor opinion: “By providing short-term rentals, owners may shift and share the burden of homeownership. This shifting can help to defray mortgage and real estate tax costs. Moreover, the sharing of this burden, through the consequent sharing of the benefits of homeownership—use and enjoyment in particular—can help to avoid or at least mitigate instances of blight due to disrepair, distressed sales at below market rate sales prices, and even foreclosures. Thus, allowing owners to share homeownership can protect a community’s property values by helping to insulate individual owners from the effects of negative housing market downturns.”

  1. Oh that is funny! Look here is all you str wana be slum lords need to know; this town is run by the Broadmoor and Anschultz. If you think they are going to let you come in here and take money out of their pocket then you need to spend less time in the dispensaries in Manitou. No one wants to live next to your flop house that is why we bought homes zoned in single family areas because we don’t want a commercial hotel two doors down we are trying to raise families and live our life all you want to do in make a quick easy buck at our expense. No thanks! My advice to you is sell it now while housing is hot. This town has a long history of boom and bust guess what is coming? Best to sell now because you’re going to be paying 30% tax on your now commercial property. Once you all make a rush for the door prices are going to drop like a stone. Remember the whole boom and bust thing?

    1. You just wait I am going to be opening up an STR 4 doors down from you and will market it towards Motorcycle Clubs. 🙂
      The truth be known the city does not give a rats behind about you it is all about the $. The article basically says so that the city is going to find all of the STR and make sure they are paying the tax. Also the ones that are already establish are there to stay they have to be grand fathered in.

      1. which MC? that would be bad ass…..may I recommend either SOS, HA, SFMC….those guys are badass and fun to party with

  2. The king’s adds, look at every village, town, and city that yells in the past 60 years, that they’re trying make rentals, etc affordable, in every single instance, it fails, it’s much more expensive, just like when the government got into the health and colleges markets,

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