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On AirBnB and VRBO, two popular online rental services, many people rave about their short-term stay in Golden.
“What a beautiful home in one of our favorite places to adventure” and “we came for a wedding Labor Day weekend and just fell in love with Golden.”
Short-term rentals are amenities for Golden tourists, and they are legal in certain zone districts in Golden. But the question now is how to regulate them throughout the entire community.
In order to have the time to do this, on Feb. 8, city council unanimously voted to pass a six-month moratorium on accepting and processing new residential short-term rentals.
“We have a lot of rentals being done, and some fear that we would stop them,” said Councilor Paul Haseman. “We are not going to stop them — we are going to try to put some controls on them.”
Currently, vacation rentals such those found on AirBnB and VRBO are regulated asTourist Homes. Golden’s municipal code defines Tourist Homes as “any building containing five or fewer guest rooms used, designed to be used, let or hired out for occupancy by persons on more or less a temporary basis.”
City documents note that there are more than 150 rental-by-owner companies that match short-term renters to properties. VRBO lists about 30 rentals in Golden’s city limits and AirBNB lists 13. Councilor Laura Weinberg pointed out there are only 12 tourist homes in Golden, which have been properly permitted since the 1960s or 1970s.
Councilor Casey Brown said that he had received a number of emails from people who are concerned that the moratorium and the final regulations will be designed to ban all short-term rentals.
“in fact, the intent of the proposal from Planning Commission would, in some respects, have the opposite effect,” Brown said. Short-term rentals “would be allowed in many more places throughout the community that are not currently allowed to have a tourist home.”
The city councilors urge residents to engage in the conversation about short-term rentals on the Guiding Golden website, which is the city’s new public engagement platform.
A Golden homeowner with the username Hjcolorado commented on the site and stated that their detached garage apartment is being used and rented as a tourist home. The guests are “completely compliant with our house rules and very respectful of our neighborhood,” Hjcolorado posted.
“They are `intentional’ travelers that are looking to be immersed in our city … either by being Colorado School of Mines parents, family of community members or have a love for Golden and/or Colorado,” Hjcolorado posted. “Any way you look at it, it is an economic boost for our city.”
Another person with the username WeareGolden pointed out that there are only two hotels in downtown Golden, and added that if there are not reasonable and available accommodations in Golden, visitors may look into staying in other near-by communities “where they will not pay Golden taxes nor spend money in Golden restaurants and bars.”
“Please understand this is not a one size fits all issue,” WeareGolden said.
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