Vail Town Council: Fees determined for short-term rental licenses; housing director needed
January 3, 2018
Meeting: Vail Town Council, Tuesday, Jan. 3, evening meeting.
Present: Kevin Foley, Greg Moffet, Jenn Bruno, Kim Langmaid, Travis Coggin, Mayor Dave Chapin.
Issue: Vail housing director position open.
Who they talked to: Steve Lindstrom, chair of the Vail Local Housing Authority.
“Not all housing projects are great housing projects. There are premier locations just around the corner that would be much more affordable. ... We really need to forge stronger partnerships with Minturn, Eagle-Vail and Avon and the county to create these solutions.”Kim LangmaidVail Town Council member
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What they talked about: George Ruther declined an offer to become the town's new housing director and will instead stay on as community development director. Ruther had been taking on both the housing director responsibilities, as well as community development. Lindstrom said Ruther's specialty has been "making things happen" and that he has become an expert in manufactured housing and a salesman of sorts in the field.
What council members said: Chapin thanked Ruther for his work as the de facto housing director, and council member Moffet said Ruther has been doing two department head jobs for years.
"I know the kind of hours he works," Moffet said of Ruther.
Langmaid said the new housing director will need to be "very collaborative" in building relationships with other towns.
"Not all housing projects are great housing projects," she said. "There are premier locations just around the corner that would be much more affordable. … We really need to forge stronger partnerships with Minturn, Eagle-Vail and Avon and the county to create these solutions."
Moffet said the town needs an "atypical" housing person.
"It takes a different language than most people in the industry are comfortable with," he said.
What's next? The town will look into hiring a new housing director.
"Working in tandem with the housing authority will be a big part of it," said town manager Greg Clifton.
Issue: Setting an annual fee for the licensing of short-term rentals
Who they talked to: Vail Finance Director Kathleen Halloran and Town Attorney Matt Mire.
What they talked about: A $150 fee for short-term housing license applications and the fines (and possible jail time) that could come with renting without a license.
Mire said the fee has to bear a relationship to the service, and Halloran said the $150 price tag is "an amount consistent with the current amount that's charged to those short-term rentals today if they were to get a business license, and it's also consistent with what we currently charge for a home occupation license."
Mire said the penalty for renting out of compliance was six months in jail or $2,600 per day for every day that the home is not licensed and available for rent.
"I don't know what the judge would impose, but every day that you're not licensed and operating is another violation," Mire said.
What council members said: Langmaid said it seemed too low. Chapin agreed, but said it is in line with other home occupation fees.
"It does seem low but with the caveat that if we do catch that person, that fine will be steep," Chapin said.
How they voted: 7-0 in favor of the $150 short-term housing license application fee.