Vail Daily letter: Change rental rule |

Vail Daily letter: Change rental rule

Vail Daily
Vail, CO Colorado

Dear Avon council, I recently was asked to give you my opin-ion on short- term rentals in Wildridge. I was an owner and full- time resident in Wildridge when the short-term-rental rule was put into effect. I think that it should have been called the shortsighted rule. I am no longer an owner in Wildridge, but I am still a very active real estate bro-ker in the area. I am still dis-turbed by the passing of that rule, as you can tell by the length of this letter.

The no-short-term-rental rule was put into effect because of an individual or perhaps even a few individual occasions when homes were rented to a bunch of college students or lacrosse players who had a loud keg par-ty. Reportedly, some kid was puking outside of his short-term- rental home and keeping nearby residents awake. I agree that this is terrible for the poor neighbor who was trying to sleep next door.

But come on, have some com-mon sense here. Call the cam-pus police. Oh, I’m sorry, it would be the Avon Police Department. Do not rewrite the Constitution of the United States of America and severely punish an entire community because of the actions of one college student.

The Avon Police Department is dying for any kind of action anywhere. I promise you the Avon Police Department would drop everything, call for backup and have the entire Avon SWAT team cuffing frat boy for his errant behavior, and the officers would love every second of it.

Instead of calling the police, the poor Sleepless in Wildridge resident took it upon himself to load his shotgun and shoot his entire leg off below the knee by spearheading this no-short-term- rental rule in Wildridge.

I estimate that home values in Wildridge are anywhere from $ 50,000 to $ 200,000 less than what they could be without the no-short- term- rental rule. It is hard to pin the actual reduced value down to a specific number because such a silly law only exists in one resort community worldwide (Wildridge).

My simplified logic concern-ing reduced value is as follows: My unscientific estimate is that, in the Vail Valley, resort areas find that 30 percent to 40 per-cent of second- home owners rent or would like the option to be able to rent their second homes on a short-term basis.

This allows them to personally use the home as a vacation home but also generates a mod-est income to help offset the costs of second- home owner-ship: taxes, snow removal, main-tenance, landscaping, etc. Take away the ability to do short-term rentals, and you take away 30 percent to 40 percent of your potential second-home buyers that would like to short-term rent.

Reduce the amount of buyers, and you reduce the demand for Wildridge homes, which eventu-ally reduces values. To com-pound the 30 percent to 40 per-cent initial loss of buyers men-tioned above, the Wildridge community misses out on the short-term renter that is a poten-tial buyer. Wildridge is a won-derful place, and I know this because I lived there for five-plus years. It only stands to rea-son that a person that is going to buy in the valley rents a place first. You have to realize that many short- term renters in Wildridge would experience one of those magical sunsets with deer grazing in the backyard from one of the most beautiful communities in the Vail Valley and decide that they would like to buy homes in Wildridge rather a place that has a wonder-ful Highway 6 or Interstate 70.

If the Avon Town Council wanted to make Wildridge a per-fect place for full- time locals to live, then why didn’t the town place a long- term- rental- cap rate and an appreciation- cap rate on all of Wildridge just like Miller Ranch currently has? Then Wildridge would be afford-able and quiet for all full- time residents for all eternity. Appar-ently this is what Sleepless in Wildridge wanted.

On the other hand, my guess is that Sleepless in Wildridge would have never intentionally paid $50,000 to $200,000 for the right to quiet enjoyment of his home. Especially if he knew that he could have called campus security, I mean the Avon Police Department, for free. In fact, Sleepless could have reached Officer Don Havmuchtodo and called for backup and the Avon SWAT department by only dial-ing three numbers (911) instead of the seven numbers he had to dial when he called the Avon Town Council.

Obviously, I am still upset by the original passing of the no-short- term-rental rule. Only now I have enough time to voice my opinion and beliefs on the sub-ject. We live in a beautiful place, and I understand people’s desire to not share what they cherish. The simple fact is that the secret is out and people will continue to come out here, they will contin-ue to rent places, and these peo-ple, if they are lucky, will eventu-ally buy a home out here.

The entire community cur-rently survives on the tourists and the second- home owner. Trying to keep visitors out of the valley and out of Wildridge sim-ply will not work long term.

Even with the shortsighted rule of no short- term rentals in Wildridge, real- estate values in Wildridge will eventually increase to a point where the local resident can no longer afford to purchase a home in Wildridge. When this happens, hopefully in the near future, the shortsighted rule will be keeping vacant second homes quiet, and Mr. Sleepless in Wildridge will have moved back to his home-town and will be Sleepless in Seattle again without the $ 200,000 he could have had in his own bank account. My guess is that he will probably have a hard time sleeping no matter where he lives.

In conclusion, I would recom-mend the following: One, buy some ear plugs if you are sensi-tive to noise. Two, call the police if you live next door to a fraterni-ty but believe that you have graduated from college. Three, change the no- rental rule in Wildridge so that the people who currently live in Wildridge can sell their home as a nonre-stricted home (as it was original-ly designed). Four, make way for the second-home owner and let the Wildridge community enjoy its real estate the way that the rest of the country does – how-ever they want to enjoy it (with-in the law, of course).

– Dudley Ottley

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