Short-term rentals get OK in Avon
Vail CO Colorado
AVON, Colorado – Judy Neuharth said she would lose her home if she couldn’t rent it out on a short-term basis.
“When the economy crunch happened and my salary want to a quarter of what I made two years ago, I thought, ‘The only way to keep this place is to short-term rent,” said the 65-year-old Avon, Colorado, resident, who sells furs for a living.
Neuharth said she rents her home on weekends to cover her mortgage, and she was among a crowd of people who spoke out in favor of short-term rentals at Tuesday’s Town Council meeting.
The council approved short-term rentals in Avon’s downtown along with neighborhoods north of Interstate 70 on a first reading of the law Tuesday. The matter is slated to come before council for a final vote Oct. 13. Town staff is looking into whether the change can apply to Wildridge and Wildwood, as well. Short-term rentals would be forbidden in deed-restricted housing.
Previously, the law prevented owners from renting their homes for 30 days or fewer. Exceptions had included commercial zones and a handful of projects such as the Riverfront Village and Sheraton Mountain Vista, where development agreements allow short-term rentals.
The Town Council voted 5-1 for the short-term rentals, with Mayor Pro Tem Brian Sipes casting the “no” vote. Sipes said he preferred to allow short-term rentals on a case-by-case basis, with approval from the homeowners’ association and the town.
Councilwoman Kristi Ferraro said she wanted to see the short-term rentals expanded to Eaglebend Drive and north of I-70. She said it’s not fair to discriminate against short-term renters on the grounds that they’ll cause nuisance problems related to parking or parties – problems other residents are just as likely to create.
Most of the residents who spoke favored short-term rentals. Sarah Thorsteinson, a government affairs director with the Vail Board of Realtors, said forbidding short-term rentals could drive away buyers who want to purchase investment properties in the valley and rent them out.
John Teskoski, a California resident who owns a home in Avon, said short-term rentals boost the local economy because people who lease the homes buy things such as groceries and ski rentals.
“The first thing they do is go out and buy locally,” he said.
But Shirley Ritland, manager of the Stone Creek condos, said she spoke to a number of people in town who oppose short-term rentals. She would rather the homeowners’ associations have the final say on short-term rentals.
“I was perfectly happy thinking we could decide for ourselves,” she said. “For us, it would be a financial burden because we do not have on-site property management.”
Mayor Ron Wolfe said he wants to supply housing for real people, not promote turning houses into investment properties by allowing short-term rentals.
“In 10 years, we will have very few full-time residents,” he said. “I think that’s not the way to go.”
High Life Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 970-748-2928 or firstname.lastname@example.org.