Avons short-term rental law upheld
AVON An Avon law prohibiting short-term rentals in residential areas of town has been upheld in the Colorado Court of Appeals.Avon was sued by Jackson & Co. (USA) Inc., a Delaware-based corporation, in August 2005 after the Town Council passed an ordinance that redefined short-term rentals and clarified a vague 1979 Avon ordinance that outlawed lodges in residential areas.The new law more clearly defined a lodge as a building containing a common kitchen and dining facilities occupied by paying guests on a temporary (thirty one (31) days or less) basis. Jackson and Co. Inc. had wanted to rent out a duplex in Wildridge. Jackson had modified the duplex layout to include six individual bedroom-bathroom suites with the intent to rent the property for short-term rentals to offset the expense of owning it. The company also advertised the property on the Internet for short-term rentals with weekly rentals preferred. The advertisement stated that the property could sleep 16 people and was ideal for large families or a corporate retreat.The town filed a countersuit to enforce the ordinance and in October 2005, Judge R. Thomas Moorhead of the Eagle County District Court issued a preliminary injunction, or court order, against Jackson, which prevented the company from renting out the property. In December 2005, the injunction was made permanent, and Jackson appealed the permanent injunction.With the adoption of the 2005 ordinance it is clear that no person in a residential area of the Town of Avon, in Wildridge or elsewhere, can have a lodge, said Town Attorney John Dunn. Jackson, however, argued that because the duplex was built in 2004, well before the new ordinance was passed, and since the original 1979 law didnt specifically prohibit short-term rentals, that it did not need to comply. The court ruling confirmed that short-term rentals in Wildridge are prohibited by the language of the Wildridge neighborhood developing rules, regardless of the ordinance in effect, and that the towns obvious intention is to prohibit lodges in residential areas.The upheld judgment confirms the towns right to enforce its ordinance, Town Manager Larry Brooks said.He said that any short-term rental in a residential area is in violation of the towns ordinance and that owners who rent even for one to two weeks over the holidays while they are away would be in violation of the towns ordinance. Staff writer Matt Terrell can be reached at 748-2955 or firstname.lastname@example.org.