Voters narrowly reject STR restrictions
[ By Katherine Nettles ]
The Crested Butte South Property Owners Association (POA) held a successful covenant revote that concluded on Monday, August 15 and saw a large turnout of voters but got a few different results than its previous and contested vote in 2021. After a slight delay from when the vote closed at 5 p.m. on Monday evening as the POA worked out some hesitation about sharing results prior to its upcoming annual meeting on Sunday, August 21, results were released to the membership Tuesday evening. More information and a welcoming of newly elected board members will take place at the annual meeting and annual picnic next Sunday evening.
Overall, 71% of eligible voters weighed in with 645 votes received from a possible 899 members in good standing. Voters passed replacing the covenants in general and allowing campers to be parked in designated parking spaces, but narrowly missed passing short-term rental (STR) limits of 90 days per year by only four votes. Overnight use of campers, backyard hens and eliminating owner approval of a dues increase beyond 10% did not pass either.
For each ballot question 450 votes were needed for it to pass. Voters responded to question 1 in favor of replacing the original 1970 covenants and restrictions with the amended and restated covenants and restrictions, with 57% of the votes or 515 in favor and 130 against.
POA president Andrew Sandstrom explained what this means, despite some specific amendments having not passed.
“The new covenants modernize the regulations that govern our community. The new covenants were not meant to change any contentious issues in the community. Rather, the updated language is more clear, concise, and enforceable moving forward. The old covenants had many confusing layers that may not have held up to a legal challenge. We purposely created separate ballot questions for any major changes to the old regulations. This way the community was able to update our base level documents and then weigh in on changes that they wanted,” he said.
71% of eligible voters responded to question 2 in favor of allowing certain types of campers to be parked on owner’s lots in designated parking spaces in CB South, with 55% of the votes or 498 in favor and 147 against. Sandstrom explained that the only exclusions are Class A recreational vehicles, mobile homes, and semi-trailers.
“If the community wanted to change this language to either be open to the exclusions or further restrict other campers in the future it would take another vote to update the covenants. We now have a much more robust system of doing this should the community ask for it in the future,” he said.
Voters responded to the next three questions with a majority in favor but none of them passed because each fell short of receiving the 450 vote threshold. These involved overnight use of campers, short-term rental limits and allowing backyard hens.
Question 3 asked if overnight use of campers should be allowed in designated parking spaces for up to 14 consecutive days with a 45-day annual limit in CB South. 44% of voters were in favor, or 395, versus 250 against; it therefore did not pass.
Votes in favor of question 4, asking if short-term rental usage of a family residence or accessory dwelling unit (but not both simultaneously) should be allowed for a maximum of 90 days per year, fell short by four votes with 49% or 446 of the votes in favor versus 199 votes against; it therefore did not pass.
Question 5 asked if backyard hens should be allowed for non-commercial purposes and received 43% of the vote or 392 in favor and 253 against.
The last question on whether to eliminate the requirement that any dues increase of more than 10% needs owner approval by majority vote was denied with 11% of the votes or 104 in favor and 541 against.
“We are extremely pleased to announce that CB South has managed to do something that has taken nearly 50 years, we have updated our covenants. Not only have we brought our outdated covenants into the present times, in the process we also have established a new system of voting that will allow us to make updates more nimbly in the future,” commented Sandstrom of the new electronic system adopted using Vote HOA Now that delivered quick and accurate results. “We are a quickly changing and growing community and it is imperative that the community has a robust method of voicing what they want for their future. Our new voting system does just that.”
In the board of directors election, there were five seats and 10 candidates. Rachael Gardner, Chelsea Stangl, Hannah Lang and Scott Clarkson won the first four seats with the fifth seat a tie between David Neben and Sue Schappert. Neben withdrew on Wednesday, August 17 leaving Schappert to fill the seat. Gardner received 374 votes, Stangl received 332 votes, Lang received 310 votes, Scott Clarkson received 304 votes and Neben and Schappert received 277 votes.
Gardner commented on her top vote count: “I’m flattered by the vote and look forward to assisting, along with existing and new board members. Small towns and communities require volunteer participation to function at their best. It’s simply my turn to be helpful.”
Stangl wrote, “I feel very honored that the CB South community has put their trust in me and I look forward serving on the board for the next two years. There is a lot happening down here and I am excited to be a part of it! I’m hoping to get to know even more of our community members in the process.”
Lang wrote, “I am honored to have been selected for the CB South Board of Directors and I am looking forward to assisting this community as we move into the future.”
Clarkson commented on his election as well. “I am excited to meet and engage with fellow board members and to begin serving the residents of the community of CB South.”
Sandstrom reiterated his sense that the whole process was a momentous occasion. “We have successfully brought our regulations into the 21st century and developed a system to continue those updates as our community changes. On top of that, the robust engagement from the community will only make us better. The fact that we had twice as many candidates as open board seats is telling that the CB South Community is vested in charting its own path into the future,” he said.
The annual meeting takes place on Sunday, August 21 at 4 p.m. and the annual picnic follows at 6 p.m. with complimentary food and drinks highlighting local vendors including The Wooden Spoon, Alpen Chef, Brown Bus Baking Co, Buckel Family Wine and Zuni Street Brewing Company.