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Local government took another step to better regulate short-term-housing licenses with the unanimous approval on second reading of ordinance 2021-002 by Chaffee County commissioners.

The ordinance contains regulations concerning the application and licensing, permitting and operation of short-term rentals in unincorporated portions of Chaffee County.

 The ordinance:

  • Establishes additional licensing requirements for STRs.
  • Establishes application approval/denial procedures.
  • Establishes term of license and renewal requirements for STRs.
  • Requires a local based agent to respond to complaints/emergencies.
  • Establishes a maximum number of licenses per year at 6 percent of housing stock or 310, whichever is less. If the maximum number of licenses is met for a given year, a waiting list is created for Chaffee County resident owners or entities.
  • Creates additional violation, penalty and enforcement procedures.

A temporary cap on short term rentals in unincorporated Chaffee County was approved as Resolution 2021-52 on July 20.

Salida, Poncha Springs and Buena Vista also imposed a moratorium on short-term rental licenses as they consider new ordinances to curb what has been presented as a concern as the county grows.

Daniel Tom, assistant county attorney said the ordinance was not the most elegant solution right now, but is a stopgap measure until updates to the land use code can be made, a much longer process.

While some residents spoke to the commissioners with concerns about property owner rights, others raised concerns about the responsibilities of and regulation of short term rental owners.

Commissioner Rusty Granzella said concerns like these are the reason the ordinance was created, “to begin to get a handle on it.”

Tom said those kind of issues need to be addressed when the county works on a land use code update.

Commissioner Keith Baker said, “I see this as damage control, not an ultimate fix.”

The ordinance goes into effect immediately.

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