Town of Vail went overboard with short-term rental license process (letter) |

Town of Vail went overboard with short-term rental license process (letter)

The town of Vail’s short-term licensing ordinance and application is certainly proof positive that the Vail voters have elected small-minded people to run their local government.

Even though we have had a local property-management firm handling our rentals for going on 40 years, we need to apply and qualify for a Short-Term Rental License. Of course, the fee for it is $150 per year because we need to keep the town employees busy checking these licenses and compliance with its requirements. Add one more officer to code enforcement.

Prior to this ordinance, my rental agent had a license (and they still do) and paid the taxes on rental generated by my unit. Now, this one property-management company has 36 owners who pay a total of more than $5,000 to get this new license. I wonder how many owners of other property-management companies find themselves in the same position and what the total cost of these short-term licenses is?

“I’m from the town of Vail, and I am here to help you.” Right.

One would think that simply filling out a signed application (assuming that it is necessary in the first place for the “health and welfare” of the community) would suffice, but oh no. The application requires the applicant to initial not less than 24 separate paragraphs in the application that set out “health” standards, such as

• Structures shall be used for the purposes for which they were intended;

• The premises shall be kept in good repair;

• You have to have an operable toilet;

• Renters need to be informed regarding parking, trash, noise and light ordinances, pet laws and “good neighbor” policies;

• And on and on and one, with each of the 24 items initialed or the application will be delayed, denied or whatever.

There was no requirement that any renter needed to be informed that they were to separate fly poop from pepper if any pepper was spilled or a fly happened by, but everything else was covered and to be separately initialed. Period.

But wait, there’s more. Would you think that the owner could just sign this application? Nope, you are required to have the signature notarized. Wow! Under oath. Couldn’t they have just made it a bit easier for the owner to pay the $150 fee; make sure that the 9.8 percent tax is paid on the rental; make sure that everybody was aware of all of the other ordinances in the village and then sign it with a provision underneath: Cross my heart and hope to die if anything was not filled in correctly in the application?

Maybe this process isn’t created by small-minded elected officials. It is created by small-minded elected officials who hire small-minded lawyers and together they subjugate the ownership of private property to ridiculous and onerous regulations. All this in a ski-resort friendly community. Sure.

Peter Switzer

Vail and Tucson, Arizona

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