Vacation rental license moratorium extended six months in CB

Regulation rewrite expected before December

[  By Mark Reaman  ]

The town of Crested Butte extended a moratorium and will not consider most short-term vacation rental license applications for another six months. The six months is being added to a ban on the applications that has been in place since last July meant to give town staff time to analyze the town’s short term rental policies. With little discussion and no objections, the Crested Butte town council extended the moratorium on accepting and processing applications and issuing licenses for non-primary residence vacation rentals to December on June 20.

Crested Butte community development director Troy Russ said the moratorium purpose was to basically give staff time to comprehensively study vacation rentals in order to reevaluate the impacts of the town’s vacation rental regulations on the town housing stock and economy. Given the time-consuming Community Compass process, the planning staff has not had the time needed to complete such an in-depth STR analysis.

“Since July 2021, there were 212 properties associated with non-primary vacation rental licenses. Since the moratorium was enacted 17 licenses have been relinquished,” Russ wrote in a memo to council. “At the same time, year over year revenues from the vacation rental excise tax have increased each month.”

Council has expressed consistent interest in what happened to the 17 houses that relinquished their licenses: did they become second homes, get bought by new permanent residents, or did they go into the long-term rental market pool?

Russ said staff will use the additional six months to complete the Community Compass, gather more detailed data, and make community supported changes to the vacation rental regulations. “We are making good progress on the research and we will be ready by a December deadline,” he said.

Russ said the anticipation is that the vacation rental ordinance will be rewritten, and council will consider the new ordinance before the moratorium expires. “There will be a number of ways to determine what to do going forward,” Russ said, promising to gather comprehensive public feedback.

“I’m very interested in seeing the data and getting that information will take more time, so I am comfortable extending this,” said councilmember Mallika Magner.

“I haven’t heard any negative feedback on the extension,” added councilmember Jason MacMillan. “So it seems the citizens are understanding of the situation.”

The council voted to extend the moratorium another six months and will review the staff conclusions before the end of the year.

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