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City Considers Short-term Rental Regulations

August 6, 2018

Short-term rentals can be a boon for homeowners and a community, but only if they are not a nuisance to the neighborhood. Broomfield is considering regulating short-term-rentals. In this file photo, homeowner John Krauklis, holding his daughter Jacque, 3, is pictured inside the newly renovated living room of his VRBO in Capitol Hill in Denver.

Broomfield is one step closer to passing regulations for short-term rentals, including Airbnb and Vacation Rentals by Owner, or VRBO.

Council members approved the item on first reading at the July 24 city council meeting as part of their consent agenda.

It is tentatively scheduled to come back to council for a vote Aug. 28.

Over the last year, Broomfield staff have reported a number of residents sharing concerns about the use of single-family homes for short term rentals to visitors.

One Broomfield resident who wants to turn one of his homes into a short-term rental spoke at the meeting in general support of regulations, but saw flaws in some regulations Broomfield is proposing.

Some of the regulations Broomfield is considering include allowing only short-term rentals for a principal residence; requiring a sales tax and lodging tax license; and a fee of $100 for a municipal license with a five-year renewal period.

The ordinance also would set a limit of four occupants for any short-term rental, plus two persons for every 500 square feet over 2,000 square feet, up to a maximum of eight person. It also would limit of four vehicles with a maximum of two parked in the street.

Aaron Huen and his family bought a home in Lac Amora in 2011. They bought a second house at The Outlook a year ago and kept their first property as a long-term rental.

His wife has a hospitality degree and currently works in that field full-time.

“We view our short-tern rental as a great opportunity for her to potentially have a part-time job,” he said. “It’s something we think would be a good fit for our family.”

When they saw that council was considering these regulations, they signed another year on their lease while they see what gets passed. One argument he raised at council was that many of the issues outlined as problems with Airbnb properties, such as street parking and noise complaints, are actually county-wide problems.

“I think there’s probably a lot of problems created by bad homeowners who aren’t good for the neighborhood or bad long-term rentals and long-term landowners who aren’t sufficiently vetting their renters,” Huen said. “It can be detrimental on a neighborhood.”

He is in favor of licensing, taxes and ensuring the businesses are well run, Huen said, but issues should be evaluated across all types of residences. His biggest fear is the regulation that says a short-term rental has to be a primary residence, which would eliminate his ability to convert his own property.

By his logic, homeowners put more work into improving properties if they are short-term because the “target tenant” for short-term says has “much higher standards” than one renting long term.

It sounds as if the vast majority of short-term rental properties are not creating a nuisance, Huen said.

Jennifer Rios: 303-473-1361, riosj@broomfieldenterprise.com or Twitter.com/Jennifer_Rios

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