Golden City Council decides against exceptions to short-term rental permits

Andrew Fraieli
afraieli@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 1/19/23

Golden City Council discussed possible ways to provide exceptions to their 2018 short-term rental ordinance in a study session on Jan. 10, but the majority decided against it.

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Golden City Council decides against exceptions to short-term rental permits

Posted

Golden City Council discussed possible ways to provide exceptions to their 2018 short-term rental ordinance in a study session on Jan. 10, but the majority decided against it.

“I think what we’ve seen in a lot of other mountain communities is that they work to quickly undo some of their more permissive short-term rental strategies, and is a reflection of the current housing market and how unaffordable it is,” Councilor Casey Brown said in the session. “And I think that’s the right way to go, I think we had it right the first time.”

The motivation for the discussion was a specific property owner, Betty Yada, who wants to have two STRs on her property — something specifically disallowed in the ordinance. According to council documents, Yada had what existed before the ordinance defined short-term rentals — a “Tourist Home.”

“Tourist Homes” functioned similarly, but allowed five or fewer guest rooms. In comparison, and where the issue lies, STRs only allow one, and Tourist Homes are now only allowed in commercial districts.

After a brief discussion, the majority of council members agreed to not move forward with any potential exceptions for the ordinance. The idea city staff highlighted as the strongest option was creating a Special Use Permit process

“I do like the option of creating a special use permit process for property owners that have a unique circumstance and give them the opportunity to process that with us,” Mayor Laura Weinburg, who supported the idea, said in the session.

“People are creative, and the law of unintended consequences will have a bunch of these applications in ways that we didn’t anticipate,” responded Councilor Don Cameron. “I would rather just see either meet these rules or it’s a long-term rental.”

Councilors Brown, Paul Haseman, Bill Fisher and Robert Reed all agreed.

Weinberg also pointed out, in defense of a special use permit process, that people use STRs to make “ownership in Golden affordable so they can continue to live in that home,” and that long-term rentals is not a viable alternative for every resident.

“I don’t like the possibility of opening pandora's box under the new code, as councilor Cameron pointed out, where it can become a business model to have a compound with multiple short-term rentals and if we allow one, we will start to get applications for multiples,” Reed said. “We got it right the first time.”

golden, city council, short term, rentals

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