200 plus short-term rental properties in the system
By Mark Reaman
The town of Crested Butte has received more than 200 vacation rental license applications for short-term rentals in town under the town’s new rules regulating vacation rental properties.
The deadline to apply without a penalty was December 31. As of Tuesday, 206 total applications were approved for renewal at least temporarily. Applicants have until the end of January to pay their fees.
There are two types of vacation rental licenses. The first is an unlimited license that allows eligible property to be short-term rented for an unrestricted number of nights each year. The town imposed a 30 percent cap on such rentals, which would limit that number at 212. If that cap is reached, a waiting list will be started.
The second license is meant for “locals” and their primary homes. A home in town that serves as a primary residence for locals can be rented up to 60 nights a year. There is no cap on the number of those licenses.
The unlimited license application fee is $750 per year and the primary residence license fee is $200 annually.
Only 13 applications submitted are for the primary residence license.
“The process of renewal has been pretty smooth for the most part, considering this is new to both the property owners and the town,” said Eric Treadwell, Crested Butte’s residential/vacation rental inspector. “People are quick to call for clarification when they get confused.”
According to Treadwell, 176 approved vacation rental license renewals have paid all the license fees and are operating with temporary licenses. Five of these are temporary primary residence vacation rental licenses. Meanwhile, 21 property owners are on the wait list for an unlimited vacation rental license.
In 2017, there were 247 people on the town’s vacation rental list. Of those, 38 people informed the town they would not be applying for the new licenses. Treadwell said property owners in town, especially those who had rented their property in the past, had been informed of the new licensing requirements.
“On October, 25 the town mailed letters to 40 local residents with active vacation rental business licenses informing them that two types of vacation rental licenses had been created; the ‘Unlimited Vacation Rental License’ or a ‘Primary Residence Vacation Rental License,’” Treadwell explained.
“The letter also informed them of the differences between the two license types and that they were eligible to request either type of license during the license renewal process,” Treadwell continued. “Then on November 6 the town’s online business license and sales tax management software, MUNIRevs, sent out an email informing all vacation rental business license holders that it was time to renew their license. Subsequent reminder emails were generated and sent by MUNIRevs to prompt account holders to take actions to renew their vacation rental business licenses for 2018.”
Treadwell said that on December 18, the town mailed out 45 more reminder letters to vacation rental business license holders who had not taken any action to renew their licenses for 2018.
“These letters were mailed to the business mailing addresses as well as the property mailing addresses the town has on file,” Treadwell said. “An email was also sent to all the vacation rental business license account owners’ and property owners’ email addresses on file. The letter alerted them to the ensuing renewal due date of December 31, 2017 and the additional $500 fee if they decide to renew during the grace period between January 1 and [January] 31. The letter continued to inform them how to proceed with the renewal process through their business center account online.”
Treadwell said this notification process has resulted in some license holders contacting town to inform Treadwell that they will not be renewing their vacation rental license. Others have submitted their renewal forms. Some have not taken any action to renew or not renew.
“To the best of our knowledge the account user/owner receives the emails from MUNIRevs,” Treadwell said. “The person who sets up the business account in MUNIRevs adds at least one authorized user onto the account. This person is required to add an email address for the purpose of receiving email notifications concerning the business account. This is how the business is reminded to pay sales tax and renew licenses. If they still have an active business license the emails are reaching the correct party.”
Temporary licenses are being issued to applicants until an inspection of the property is performed. Treadwell said inspections would begin the second week of January.
The inspections will focus on “life-safety” issues, along with neighborhood impacts. Treadwell explained that he would be looking for things like working fire extinguishers and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Proper parking spaces and bear-proof trashcans will also be looked at during the process. The parking is a major consideration for the town. Inspections are scheduled by appointment.
Renewal applications will be accepted until January 31 but there will be an additional $500 fee.