Eagle-Vail: Short rentals OK | VailDaily.com

Eagle-Vail: Short rentals OK

Melanie Wong
Vail, CO Colorado

EAGLE-VAIL, Colorado ” Don’t worry, Eagle-Vail homeowners, you can rent your homes out short-term.

Some residents were confused over whether or not the property owner’s association board was banning short-term leasing of homes, but the board said it hopes a resolution it passed Monday will clear matters up.

The board reiterated it is not prohibiting short-term rentals. The resolution was in response to ongoing rental disputes that have divided the neighborhood in past months.

Board members Mike Connolly, Mike Keiler and Tracy Walters voted in favor. Kim Williams was absent and board president Jeff Layman abstained from voting.

The problems began after the Eagle-Vail Property Owner’s Association tried to ban rentals shorter than four months. Some homeowners said they felt the board was infringing on property owner’s rights and not fairly representing the interests of second-home owners.

The controversy came to a head as a group of homeowners tried to oust Layman from the board in March. The board decided to rescind the ban and formed a rental committee to research the subject.

The board’s attorney also advised against prohibiting the rentals, saying that according to the neighborhood’s covenants, a ban would not hold up in court.

However, some homeowners argued that the board still wasn’t clear on the subject ” the ban is still up on the Web site and there are no clarifications in the property owner’s handbook.

“Although maybe not intentional, this lack of action gives the appearance that the board did not hear the vote at the annual meeting and is in complete disregard of the results,” wrote homeowner Patrick Carter, chairman of the rental committee.

Board members said the Web site had not been updated because the neighborhood is in the process of changing sites, and that the issue was not being ignored.

“The point is that if anybody is looking at buying a property, it seems that there is still a cloud hanging over them,” said Eagle-Vail homeowner Judd Watts. “It seem the board is still sitting where they are despite a clear vote of the homeowners.”

Keiler suggested Monday’s resolution.

“We can’t change something that’s been going on for years,” he said. “This is a very significant issue that has come to polarize this community, and I think we need to deal with it.”

The rental committee, which is talking to residents about the issue, is expected to present their findings to the board in a couple weeks. If the committee finds a significant number of residents still want to ban short-term rentals, the issue would have to go to a public vote.

However, the committee is finding that many of residents’ complaints are not specific to short-term rentals, but to renters in general, said committee member Will Miller.

“It’s everything from noise, late check-ins, to parking to over occupancy,” he said.

In some other neighborhoods around the valley, short-term rentals have either been successfully banned or are not a significant issue.

Singletree, for example, does not allow any temporary rental, or any rental less than 6 months, of a home or part of a home.

“It’s to preserve and protect Singletree as a residential community,” said Don Cohen, Berry Creek Metro District president and Singletree resident.

Because there is no reporting process for renting, Cohen said there is no way to know how many homes are being rented out. While complaints and problems come up on a case-by-case basis, there has never been a community-wide problem with rentals, he said.

“(Homes) are also more expensive,” he said. “By nature of what the properties cost, they don’t lend themselves for use as rental properties.”

The neighborhood also prohibits time shares and fractional fees. Cohen said a few years ago a developer proposed a fractional ownership project for the neighborhood, and it was denied.

“That kind of thing just doesn’t fly here. I think there’s a community culture of understanding of what the expectations are,” he said.

Avon also passed a law prohibiting short-term rentals in residential areas. The law was upheld after the town won a lawsuit challenging the ordinance.

Other communities, such as Beaver Creek, Arrowhead and some West Vail neighborhoods, have large short-term rental populations.

Arrowhead rental manager Dan Lipson said the Beaver Creek Lodge manages about 65 rental units, mostly within Arrowhead Village. Other homes are scattered throughout the neighborhood, he said.

“The majority of those are short-term rentals,” he said.

However, there are rarely problems with disturbances or bad neighbors, he said. The community is gated and security tends to handle any problems.

Homestead general manager Tracy Erickson said the neighborhood doesn’t have ordinances prohibiting or allowing short-term rentals.

“We don’t have any problem with them one way or another,” he said. “Most of our homes are occupied by locals. We have a limited number of long-term, leased-out units, and there aren’t really any complaints with that.”

Staff Writer Melanie Wong can be reached at 970-748-2928 or mwong@vaildaily.com.

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