Mt. CB making updates to short-term rental ordinance

Contact the town with STR complaints

[  By Kendra Walker  ]

The town of Mt. Crested Butte is making a few changes to its short-term rental (STR) town code, and during the January 17 meeting the town council approved the first reading of a revised STR ordinance.  

The changes include the removal of needing homeowner association approval in the STR license application. Town clerk Tiffany O’Connell explained that the previous requirement for HOA approval wasn’t doing what she hoped it would do.

“Very few HOAs keep track and if STRs are legally allowed, the HOA can’t say no, they’re not going to allow it,” she said. HOAs have no legal basis to deny STRs in their complex unless it’s not allowed in their HOA declaration. “If the complex allows STRs, I would still have to approve the license if I had everything else,” said O’Connell. 

She also noted that HOAs do have a parking plan and the HOA does have to approve the STR’s parking plan as part of the application. And while STRs are required to have a parking plan and can only advertise the approved amount of spaces, the problem is that sometimes guests have more cars than allowed, she said. “It’s still the owner’s responsibility if their guests don’t follow the rules, and if there’s a violation there are results.” 

Another revision to the STR ordinance is that the fine for renting or advertising without a license is up to $1,000 per day. “The judge determines a fine up to $1,000,” explained O’Connell, depending on the violation. She did note that the municipal court judge also takes rudeness versus respectfulness into consideration when determining the fine amount. 

Another revision includes added definitions for corporate entity, STR and STR licensee. For corporate entity: “applicant must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the town clerk that the natural person applicant for the primary residence exception is either a majority owner in the corporate entity or a majority beneficiary of the corporate entity”; for STR: “a building or unit that is short term rented for periods not exceeding 29 nights to any one individual or entity”; and for STR licensee: “an owner, corporate entity or lessee of the short-term rental.”

The ordinance changes also clarify that an STR must have a certificate of occupancy, not just a temporary certificate of occupancy; removes the notary requirement from the self-compliance affidavit; and removes the personal property declaration form.

O’Connell shared that the town rarely receives complaints about STRs, but the town does have several avenues for issuing STR complaints. If someone has an issue with an STR in their neighborhood, they can contact the town at 970-349-6632 or email strcomplaint@mtcb.colorado.gov. The town also has a list of the all STR property representatives and their contact information at mtcb.colorado.gov/short-term-rental-complaints. 

Council member Steve Morris requested that the town also add a “File a Complaint” section under the STR drop down menu on the town’s website to make it easier for folks to find. “I encourage people to please let us know if they have issues,” said O’Connell, noting that it’s best to file a complaint when the guest is in the residence so the town can address the situation immediately.

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