The Breckenridge Temporary Short-Term Rental Advisory Working Group met for the first time on Tuesday, November 2 to begin discussions on the possible establishment of tourist overlay areas that could be exempt from the rental permit cap short term from the city.
The working group includes various stakeholders including members of the real estate community, hotel and exempt short-term rental community, managers of short-term rental properties, board members and others. community members. As an advisory working group, it exists only to make recommendations to city council.
Abbey Browne of Wood Winds Property Management said the first meeting was a good start for the group. She said the task force approached this initial conversation at a macro level, mainly delving into historic and existing land uses so everyone has a better understanding of the issues they face.
Browne said it was “obvious” the city was taking its short-term rental regulations seriously, given their engagement at the task force’s first meeting. Mayor Eric Mamula greeted the group at the start of their meeting and Browne said at least five city staff were also in attendance.
“There was a lot of interaction from the city, which I found very reassuring,” Browne said.
As the task force continues to meet, Browne hopes to bring a different perspective. She said that although her company works with short-term rentals, she also manages homeowner’s associations, and she said she was familiar with the properties and their stories.
“I’ve been running these places for over 15 years so it’s really helpful when you’re trying to figure out how they’ve changed over the past 15 years,” said Browne.
Since her livelihood depends on having short-term rentals in the community, Browne said she also hopes to focus on Breckenridge being a resort town in need of tourists. She said she understands unfettered short-term rentals are unrealistic, but the needs of tourists still need to be met in the city.
Jim Schlegel, a real estate agent at Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate, said the first meeting expanded everyone’s knowledge and laid the groundwork for how to move forward in creating a tourist overlay neighborhood.
“I feel that city staff and council members are open-minded and willing to be flexible to change the ordinance in a way that will be a little more convenient for the community of Breckenridge. “said Schlegel.
Devon O’Neil is an extraordinary member of the task force who has spoken out in favor of rent caps at several board meetings. He said the first meeting helped everyone better understand the task and the tools at hand. He said it was nice to have all sides at one table to work productively without focusing on being for or against the license cap.
“City council meetings have become very controversial and very uncomfortable, and yet this meeting I attended on Tuesday was really comfortable and productive, even though we haven’t made a final decision yet or are getting closer,” said O’Neil. “But I thought that was a really good sign of what was to come in our subsequent meetings just because people are there for the right reasons. They want to do it as well as possible and in the fairest way possible. “
O’Neil also noted that it is still unclear exactly what will come out of this working group and what benefits the people in the overlay districts might derive from it. He said there is currently no plan for something like this, and it will be difficult to examine the city’s complexes and determine guidelines for each, especially since even the developments nearby could potentially have different restrictions.
“There isn’t a ton of real, quantitative and historically tested data to work with here, so we’re trying to understand the make-up of the city and the original intentions of every little nook and cranny so that we can make decisions and decisions. informed recommendations for the city council, “said O’Neil.” … I think the city has reached its full capacity and I think it’s a great first step, but it’s really hard to figure out how to deploy it . “
Dick Carleton is one of the City Council representatives on the task force, and he said he was impressed by the open-mindedness of everyone present.
“This is an open, intelligent and experienced group of people who I think come to the table interested and willing to come to a reasonable agreement for all,” Carleton said.
Carleton said he hopes everyone can continue to learn and understand both sides of what he called “a difficult problem in our community.” He said he thinks the city can improve on its existing ordinance regulating short-term rentals, and he was encouraged to see this group start the work to do so.
O’Neil said he hoped to make his voice heard for long-term housing, and he said he believes the task force will ultimately need to debate whether individual complexes, blocks and neighborhoods are included. in the superimposed districts keeping in mind the big image of the city.
“It will be a very difficult decision for some properties, but I don’t want us to forget that due to the location or the environment of a place, it cannot accommodate long-term premises,” he said. O’Neil said.
Browne said she hopes the task force will be able to come up with a long-term sustainable council plan, meeting the city’s needs now and able to grow with the city in the future.
“My ultimate goal is to keep this big picture in mind as we go through this and realize that if you start cutting licenses without a truly surgical plan, there could be some really big effects,” said Browne.