Vacation Rental Letters regarding the Town Board's STR policy
Vacation Rental Letters regarding the Town Board's STR policy
The following letters document the responses to the Town Board on the August 10, 2021 study session to discuss Vacation Home Philosophy. A YouTube recording of the meeting is available at estes.org/videos by selecting "Streamed and recorded meetings via YouTube". Packet material for this meeting can also be accessed via the Town's website estes.org/recordsportal. The Board requested the discussion continue at their August 24, 2021 regular Town Board meeting. The Chamber Vacation Rental Alliance is collecting data for a formal response to equip board members in their decision-making process. The following letters are a response to an anonymous call to action. Emphasis and capitalization have been normalized in this reprint.
Monday, September 13
I highly encourage everyone this list to email the town board today because they will be voting on Tuesday on whether to revoke transferability of your vacation home permit. Regardless of the political implications, the simple fact is that due to market forces, you stand to lose tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars in equity if you do not act now.
Submit public comment here: https://dms.estes.org/forms/townboardpubliccomment
Email the Trustees here: https://estespark.colorado.gov/townboardmembers
Read the details of the the vote here (scroll to page 117 for details, background, and public comments received so far)
If you prefer your email message to be not easily found, title it “private” in the subject line. That way it will not be posted to the town’s public email repository online. Understandably STRs are contentious, and many owners would prefer to remain out of public scrutiny.
I also recommend everyone on this list join the Chamber of Commerce. That body has an STR Council to specifically provide a unified voice on this front.
This Tuesday, the town likely will restrict the ability to transfer an STR permit on sale of property. Staff has recommended two options: the first would be to revoke transferability of all properties permitted after the effective date of Ordinance 29-16, which passed back in 2016; the second would revoke transferability of all properties that from here on out get a new operating permit.
If option A is voted on, and your VR was permitted in the last 4-5 years, you will not be able to transfer your permit should you sell your property. You made a purchase under a specific set of rules, and there is a proposal on the table to change the rules in the middle of the game. And no matter how you cut it, this represents a massive erasure of equity for hundreds of families who are using these funds for retirement, college funds, the ability to live here, etc.
If option B is voted on, all existing homes will be grandfathered in but new permits would not be transferrable. That means if you are on the wait list, you will not be able to transfer a permit once you get it.
STR FEE STUDY AND USE FEE
There’s also discussion about paying $25,000 out of the general fund for a fee study to see if affordable housing inventory is related to STRs. If the consultants find a link, the board may levy a use fee on STRs, effectively using our businesses to subsidize affordable housing initiatives citywide.
We all know this is a super complex issue based on a ton of factors, and lack of affordable housing is common nationwide. The lack of inventory is related to a mad rush on mountain homes, covid, no building supply inventory, record low interest rates, rising labor and building costs, NIMBYistic zoning regulations prohibiting things like ADUs and restricting building heights, etc. The list is endless.
And then there’s this disconnect: the Board is discussing passing fees on on STRs so people can afford to buy homes, yet “we" (which includes the town itself, plus many small businesses including those run by people advocating for this use fee) simply don’t pay enough to allow people to buy homes. It seems wrong to me that the Town starts its seasonal maintenance workers at $13.50 an hour, for example, yet Denver’s minimum wage as of January will be nearly $16/hr.
This town needs affordable housing, but it needs to be paid for by *everyone.* That means the shop owners, the hotels, the grocers, the STR owner, the contractors, the Town board members themselves, etc. Because everyone who lives, works, or travels here on vacation is somewhat responsible for the local factors influencing affordable housing.
Let your voice be known and participate in our democracy.
Also note, I don't think it’s beneficial to be combative in your messages to the town. Rather it's an opportunity to bridge gaps and provide feedback guiding our legislators and bureaucrats toward a future where STRs are allowed and positively viewed as a community asset and a benefit to everyone's way of life.
A member of the Vacation Rental Council
Friday, September 10, 2021 at 2:11 PM
Dear Madam Mayor, Mayor Pro Tem and Estes Park Town Board of in Trustees:
Something that hasn’t been addressed is the perspective of owners of short term rentals who have rented to people in the workforce:
My husband and I own a STR and I’m a realtor.
The town seems to be alluding that STRs should rent to the workforce.
When we first bought the house, we rented to some of the workforce in Estes Park. We were remodeling and we found that there was a big demand for rooms. We were also in the process of getting our vacation licenses, which took more than two years. Because it wasn’t affordable for one person to rent a room, 3 or 4 people went in together to rent the rooms. It seemed like it would be a good idea since they needed rooms from May to October.
It was a disaster for us.
- They all have more than one job, so they were coming and going at all hours. Also, they had to use our kitchen. (Our guests now do not cook in our kitchen).
- My pots and pans were ruined, dishes were broken, silverware lost, spills everywhere. And these people, even though we asked them to clean up after themselves, they didn’t clean the way I do, if they cleaned at all. Especially the stove and microwave. They never cleaned those, so I was constantly cleaning up after they cooked.
- The dishwasher had garbage in it after they loaded it. We had to reload the dishwasher after them. Both of these things were a lot of extra work for us.
- Cigarette butts were dropped all over our driveway and outside the house. Plus they kept food in their rooms, so we had a mice infestation. It took months to conquer this problem.
- Their clothes were often left in the washer or dryer when I needed use them. Also, clothes were crammed into both the washer and dryer and they used too much soap. We had to buy another washer and dryer. We ultimately insisted that they go to a laundromat.
- We couldn’t block rooms for our family and friends to visit when we wanted to since the workers lived here full time from May to October. We couldn’t travel either as we needed to watch the house and make sure that it was locked, lights were turned off and that no one who wasn’t renting stayed here.
In the application for a short term rental license under additional provisions it says (I am copying) Transfer of a business license “(1) Transferable to new owner. An active license for a specific vacation home or bed and breakfast inn shall be transferable to a different owner in accordance with procedures in this Code." Whoever said that the licenses were never meant to be transferrable never read the code. If there aren’t any owners of STRs on the Town Board, and you decide to hire a consultant to decide if we should be charged a fee or a tax, we will be taxed with no representation on the board. “Taxation without representation is tyranny.” James Otis, lawyer opposing the Stamp Act, 1775.
Are any of the Trustees business owners? This is house our nest egg. When we purchased our licenses, they were definitely transferrable. I copied my husband here, he may want to add something.
Thank you for listening.
Saturday, September 4, 2021 at 3:08 PM
Dear Madam Mayor and Town Trustees,
I would like to weigh in on this the STR issue we all are debating at present. Specifically on 2 issues:
1. On the advice of staff, you are currently considering eliminating the existing granted right to transfer a VHR business licenses to new owners of a licensed STR property when it is sold. Staff is saying this change is needed due to the long (and getting longer) list of people waiting for STR licenses. This combined with the cap, means people may have to wait years to get a license.
2. The work force housing dilemma. The town is currently considering charging a fee on all STR stays in Estes. This notion has a statutory requirement that says the Town must hire a consultant to perform a study to determine if there is any correlation between the STR business and our workforce housing shortage.
Transferability of STR License
I wrote a letter to the board some months ago when I first heard about the staff’s recommendation to the board to consider revoking the transferability clause currently in the code. In that letter, I stated such an action can and would be construed as a case of “Regulatory Taking”, and those effected could exercise their 5th Amendment right to seek compensation from the town for value lost. Specifically, this regulation change would be a revocation of a statutory property right to transfer their business license upon the sale of their property/business. This statutory right does indeed have demonstrable value. At the last town board meeting and the study session held a couple of weeks prior Ms. Williamson & Town Attorney Kramer commented on this saying that the STR licenses issued by the town are only good for a single year, and furthermore completely expire at the end of the calendar year. As such, the transferability of these licenses is not a property right, and the Town does not have to worry about people coming back at them with lawsuits claiming 5th amendment losses. I have informally consulted with an attorney on this matter and determined that this advice given by staff to the board is at best arguable, and more likely not valid at all. The reasons being:
1. The STR license regulations do state that they are “valid for a single year”. The fact is, these licenses are “in practice” routinely renewed on an automatic basis (provided the license fee is paid in a timely manner); the same as any other business license issued by the town. My annual renewal comes to me as such – an automatic renewal titled “Town of Estes Park Annual Vacation Home Registration Renewal”. If the license truly expired every year a new application process would need to be engaged in by the “new” applicant.
2. Important and relevant, is the existing code regarding vacation rental licenses has a clause in it that says the right to transfer to a new owner is allowed:
(2) Not transferable to different home. A license assigned to a vacation home or bed
and breakfast inn shall not be transferred to another location of the same or different ownership. (3) Application required upon transfer. If the property owner changes during the annual period for which the vacation home or bed and breakfast inn has been licensed, a new property owner of record must file an application to transfer the license into their name within thirty (30) days of transfer of ownership, and must ensure the vacation home or bed and breakfast inn is in compliance with all other Town regulations.
3. Furthermore, not only has the town established precedent by transferring licenses to new property owners for years now, the board also saw fit to amend this clause recently to give these transfers 30 days instead of the original 15 days to get the transfer – lending more credence to the fact this is a statutory property right STR owners have been granted.
I would like to say in closing on this subject, it appears from the last meeting that staff and a majority of the board members voiced in favor of abolishing the transferability of STR licenses. In my opinion, what you have failed to grasp is every STR license holder is a business owner. They engage in commerce, provide a service that customers pay for, and in turn pay their fair share of taxes – which the town benefits from. They have purchased business assets, otherwise invested substantially in their business, and are entitled to reap the rewards of their success (should it go that way) both from the ongoing operation of the business as well as from selling their business – the same as every other business owner in this town. There was talk at the 2 meetings about a large percentage of these STR operators being from out of town and or they bought property in Estes only to live here part time and want to subsidize that luxury with an STR biz. It does not matter where these STR business owners have their primary residence, or what their reasons are for being in the business. You do not impose those judgements or conditions on any other types of business owners. The Town, Larimer County, and the State all treat STR owners as business operators and collect their taxes from them. To single out STR business owners with discriminatory treatment is wrong. Should this change be made, you are telling them you can engage in this STR business, but if/when you decide to sell, you can only sell your physical assets. The substantial intangible value you have built up in your business is forfeit. If you pulled that on the rest of the business owners here in town – it would not go well for anyone.
If the problem you are trying to solve truly is to get rid of STR license holders that do not contribute any revenue because they do not engage in the business, there are better and more equitable ways to go about it. Ms. Williamson said it is difficult to determine which of the STR license holders are not engaging in the business. That is just not good enough of a response. There is certainly a way to find out and then weed them out. Perhaps you can require STR license holders to provide proof of sales tax payments?? Another option, is of course, to increase the cap. Virtually all of the board members have patently declined to increase the cap, some vehemently so. What is curious to me is that not one of you have given any justification whatsoever for having that point of view. As one of your constituents, I would like to know what your justifications are for that opinion. I am not saying you do not have valid justifications; I just want to know what they are.
Work Force Housing Dilemma
I gather from being at attendance at the past 2 Board meetings, that you are considering imposing a (nightly, or per stay) fee on short term rentals due to their being a “nexus” between the workforce housing crisis in Estes and the onset of the STR business. There was also talk of imposing a tax, but that idea seemed to die out because it would require voter approval. My understanding is that a fee study must be commissioned by the board to determine how much STRs have contributed to the workforce housing shortage as a condition to imposing any fee. I am speculating here but will say: If the study points to STR businesses as being a major cause in the housing shortage then the board will be justified in imposing a fee on STR business. Here are my comments on this:
1. I have been a member of this community for over 21 years. It is no secret to anyone that workforce housing has been an issue for longer than I have been a resident here in Estes Park.
2. It is also no secret to anyone that the cost of real estate here in Estes Park has always been higher than the national average, and recently has skyrocketed to be perhaps some of the more expensive real estate in the country.
3. There is very little (if any) qualified workforce housing in Estes Park – STR or otherwise, just by sheer virtue of property market value. So, to pay a consultant tens of thousands of dollars to point out what is abundantly clear seems to be a genuine waste of time and money. If you want to zoom in on STRs, just look up the value of every property with a license. I am confident to predict you will find very few properties that would qualify as workforce housing – by sheer virtue of the property values.
To be clear, I realize we have an affordable housing crisis, and concur that we need to figure it out as quickly as possible. I just think you all are looking in the wrong places for answers. The crisis is driven by global real estate market pressure. The fact that we live in such a fabulous, coveted area with so little privately owned developable property does not help matters. I can confidently say that is the primary cause of the affordable housing crisis. The vast majority of existing homes in Estes will not qualify as affordable.
A better place to start would be to start thinking outside the box we have been having this conversation inside of for over 20 years that I know of. Meet with real estate developers about what options they can suggest. Take a good hard look at existing accessory dwelling laws for places they can be relaxed – I guarantee that will put a dent in the issue. Look at some of the successes other communities are starting to experience with new ideas. Winter Park recently came up with a scheme to subsidize STR owners to rent long term – not saying that is what we should do, but what a great example of thinking outside the box.
These issues do appear at times to be quite divisive, but that is how our system operates sometimes. I really feel that if we are willing to really work together and listen to each other we can make it work.
I do appreciate your time and your service to our community.
441 Chiquita Lane Estes Park
Monday, August 23, 2021 at 1:44 PM
We are the owners of a home in the Promontory by Mary’s Lake, that we also use as a STR. We bought our property in 2016 with the goal of eventually retiring part time in Estes. We did our research prior to purchasing our property about town rules/regulations. We also verified with the HOA/COA about limitations and covenants regarding STRs.
Some people in Estes have a very negative opinion about STRs. However, we feel that they are beneficial to the community as a whole. Our guests are helping support the local economy. Every time we have a guest they visit the grocery stores, dine at restaurants, and go down town to shop. We realize the inconvenience of tourists, but Estes economy is based on tourism. As a STR owner we comply with all city/county rules/regulations. This includes sales tax, plus the 2% local marketing tax. STR owners also pay higher utility rates (commercial rates versus residential rates). STR owners contribute to the property tax base just like everyone else. If nightly fee’s or additional tax rates were to be levied by the city, those fees would be passed on to the renters. Every additional fee that we add subtracts from the renters budget. For instance, if a family has a budget of $2,500 for their week vacation to Estes and we charge an additional $25 (as an example of a nightly charge rate) that would be $175 less that the renters would have to spend at a local restaurant or store.
We understand and appreciate that affordable housing is an issues in the Estes Valley. However, charging an additional rate is not going to fix this issue. Affordable housing is not only an issue in Estes, but also along the front range. Those communities do not have a concentration of STRs. To blame STRs for the cost of housing in Estes is a bit of a reach.
Thank you for your time,
Darren and Jason Rundell-Little
Ann's Chalet At Estes Park
Estes Park, CO 80517
Monday, August 23, 2021 at 1:41 PM
I am an owner of a STR in Estes Park that I have owned for 10 years now. While I was concerned when the town began to add regulations to STR 5 – 6 years ago, I also recognized the need to address concerns of neighbors and other permanent residents. I have a good relation with my neighbors. I accepted the new regulations and agreed some minimum standards were needed. The inspections turned into a 3 year process, and lots of uncertainty, including last minute work to be in compliance. Some of this went beyond common sense, but I am in compliance, have a safe, clean and comfortable home for guests. I have spent significant sums to keep the home well maintained, safe and providing guests with lots of amenities.
Now I hear about the recent meeting and the quick decision to consider a study (with end result already settled) to add a fee or tax on STR to address the affordable housing situation. Estes Park needs to develop a comprehensive approach to “affordable housing”. EP also needs to access all available funding and resources (see paragraph below). Further, EP is by far not the only town dealing with “affordable housing”. The entire state no longer has affordable housing. That said, it would be a good idea to assess and discuss with other towns what approaches they are considering to address this issue.
Town Trustees need to first become more knowledgeable on the Affordable Housing Crisis Issue and best practices not only from other Colorado Mountain towns but also best practices from Colorado Developer’s on how to eliminate the “barriers” in Estes Park and incentives that actually work to promote the building of Affordable Housing. The Trustees should stop focusing on a STR Fee Study (a very small part of the issue) and instead focus all efforts on obtaining grant money under all 3 grant programs under the newly enacted HB21-1271. Furthermore, as discussed below, the Trustees can obtain funding to pay for the Consultant to put together a comprehensive Affordable Housing plan & strategy under the NEW “local government grant funding program” provided under HB21-1271, enacted June 27, 2021. Below in Paragraph  is a summary and a link to an article from The Colorado Sun that I found as a helpful starting point towards learning more about the Affordable Housing Issue in Colorado, and after reading this article I researched House Bill 21-1271 and I learned that it was enacted into law on June 27, 2021. Below in Paragraph  is a summary and link to HB 21- 1271 that provides for grant money in 3 different program in the department of local affairs (DOLA):  “Developers working on affordable housing in Colorado’s mountains offer suggestions for pending wave of funding”, June 9, 2021. https://coloradosun.com/2021/06/09/colorado-mountains-developers-affordable-housing-funding/ · The unprecedented housing crisis in Colorado will soon see an equally extraordinary flood of cash. · In Colorado’s high country, where affordable housing is a decades-long issue that exploded into a catastrophe last year, an army of developers on the front lines of a complex campaign to build workforce housing are ready to help guide the sudden influx of funding. · State and federal money is coming soon. House Bill 21-1271 would provide $13 million to communities that adopt rules that promote affordable housing projects. The legislation would create three grant programs for housing development, planning and a “affordable housing guided toolkit” for communities, all managed by the 2 Division of Local Government in the Department of Local Affairs.
Any long term/permanent resident will sell their home for a market price, not a subsidized price; and I doubt the town will assess a fee on the sellers. Why not? That sale adds to the skyrocketing value of properties as much or more than STR’s. So picking on STR is simply unfair, wrong, and asking for a fight. The issue of “affordable housing” is not one that was created by owners of STR’s, and the focus should not be on STR’s. This issue cannot be addressed by individual towns alone; most other Colorado Mountain towns are dealing with similar issue. The state and counties need to step up and work toward a comprehensive solution.
I also know the issue of transferability is in question. I have a right to sell my home with the permit – period! I do not have plans to sell any time soon, BUT any action by the town to negate or cancel my permit as a result of a sale would be met with legal action if it interferes with a sale. STR License Cap: suspend any talk of raising the cap while you are putting together a comprehensive plan on how to address the Affordable Housing Issue. It should be addressed but, as part of a comprehensive approach. I plan to eventually live in my home at some point in retirement. Until then, I remain an STR owner who takes care of my property, treats guests and neighbors with respect, remain in full compliance and through my guests, add to the economy of EP. The approach going forward must be cooperative, open and transparent. Without that, there will be difficulty solving any problems. I am reminded how the Trustees treated owners of STR’s last year during the COVID pandemic; a second stab at STR’s owners is not a wise or thoughtful course of action. Please be considerate and deliberate for taking action.
Jim Meek <email@example.com>
Sunday, August 22, 2021 at 7:45 PM
Dear Fellow citizen,
I am writing out of concern regarding the consideration being given to single out a small subset of the population for additional taxation. This type of plan represents the worst of the tendencies of any government, to choose to tax only certain citizens for whom you seem to have less regard than others. If there is a segment of the population that cannot afford to share in the activities of government, then give some deferment of the taxation to that group, but don’t choose to punish one group that you do not think can affect you as much politically and not ask others that can certainly afford to share in the cost.
We who own short term rentals are a varied population but we share one thing, a love of the Estes Park area. It is not just the owners but property managers and cleaners (among other support personnel) who already pay local taxes in various forms. We also bring in many thousands of tourists who support the economy and pay taxes. You have already in recent years added to our burden of fees and if more is added, that will also then need to be passed on to renters. Eventually, families, the type of whom we attracted with affordable rentals for a large family or two families together will be priced out of coming to Estes. Please reconsider pursuing the ill conceived and unfair plan.
726 Black Canyon Drive, Estes Park
Sunday, August 22, 2021 at 7:28 PM
I disagree with having a tax on short term rentals to fund the affordable housing initiative. We purchased a condo in Estes and stay there several weeks every year. We rent it out through a manager and pay a permit. This is not a fair way to just expect short term rentals to handle the load.
Dolores Neis <firstname.lastname@example.org>
726 Black Canyon Dr., Estes Park
Sunday, August 22, 2021 at 2:36 PM
Amazing that you are not requiring hotels, motels, bnbs, and I’m sure huge places like Estes Park Condos who didn’t have to get the registrations and live safety done are also exempt from helping pay for the study. You need to reconsider who has to pay for this research for affordable housing. One more thing of interest: next to my place are 3 empty houses that have been inherited that aren’t even being used over the 4th of July. They sit empty. This kind of thing also is causing housing shortages. 2 are next to me and 1 has a house in between mine and it. But there are 3 empty houses within a half block of my place. It looks like you need to build more of the low income housing apartments that you have already built.
Thank you for listening and reading,
Sherry Timm <email@example.com>
Sunday, August 22, 10:59 AM
Hi Donna. Below is the email I sent to the trustees and others reference the fee for workforce housing. I am not against a fee distributed across all businesses. If spread out, it should not amount to very much for any one of us and we do need to solve the affordable work force housing issue. Thank you for your efforts on not having short term rentals bear the entire burden of this new fee or tax.
"Good morning trustee _____. First of all, we want you to know that we are in favor of supporting investment in Estes Park affordable work force housing, and we voluntarily contribute to the EDC in support of this effort. We do, however, strongly object to requiring only short term rentals to fund this new city fee, or tax. Since the fee will help provide employees of local businesses affordable housing, all businesses should contribute to its funding. These businesses benefit from the tourist revenue and these employees keep the businesses running. A significant portion of the tourist dollars (revenue for the businesses and sales tax for the city) comes from short term rental taxes. Our property can accommodate up to 16 people and our customer base is primarily family reunions. These guests would choose another city for their vacation rather than stay in motels or hotels. Many of them have told us this. We believe the city should actively support these rentals instead of making it more difficult for us to operate successfully.
While we believe all businesses should share in this tax, it is particularly disturbing that bed and breakfasts, hotels, motels, and other lodging venues are excluded. We believe the premise that short term rentals alone cause the work force housing shortage is unsubstantiated. Another viable option to reconsider is allowing the rental of auxiliary housing for workforce employees, especially seasonal ones. Parking, noise, and other objections can be dealt with through existing city ordinances.
We sincerely appreciate you working to solve this housing shortage, but please consider the unfairness in requiring only short term rentals to bear the burden. Please spread the new tax to all businesses, therefore, reducing the impact on one segment of your constituents.
Thank you. Sincerely, Jim and Lois Gunlicks, 247 Davis St"
Thursday, August 19, 2021 at 11:21 AM
Call to action to STR Rental Owners & Property Management Companies
From: Stracer STRs <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To all Short-Term Rental property owners (STRs as they call us). I wanted to share the below email as I and am sure most of you will oppose the Town of Estes or any other entity from singling us out to pay for an issue the Town of Estes has had for as long as I can remember. At the August 10, 2021 Study Session, the Trustees were strongly considering hiring a consultant to perform a study on the Affordable Housing situation in Estes Park and looking to add a nightly fee and/or tax on STR bookings to go into a fund reserved for Affordable Housing initiatives. STRs bring a huge amount of tourists into our Town, spending lots of money and generating a lot of sales tax/revenue in our community. It is time the STRs stand up for what is right.
This proposed Fee and/or Tax would be solely on STRs and not any other business (including other types of lodging businesses)! We all know how unfair such action would be to single out STRs. There is no such thing as affordable housing in Estes Park. According to Zillow.com the average price of home values in Estes is over $602,000.00. This is just another tax the town wants to impose. The town needs to manage their funds and their expenses vs. passing it on to STRs to fix a problem that has existed since way before the 1990’s. We rent our homes short term, so we can still enjoy beautiful Estes Park and our home. Most of us who own an STR would not consider using our properties for affordable housing as we want to share our homes on a short-term basis so our friends and families can still use our homes and not commit to a long-term affordable housing rental.
I sat through several of the meetings the town had when they kicked off the charge to regulate us, mandate permits and mandatory inspections on our STRs in Estes. The Town told the home owners how many people could stay at their STR by limiting the number of people per bedroom in OUR house, charge us for inspections, charge us a yearly fee for permits and told us they would NOT look to increase the number of homes for STR permits and now the town is telling us people are converting the affordable housing into STRs. If the town said there would be a CAP on the amount of STRs, how are these affordable houses being converted to STRs ? There was to be a limit of STR permits allowed ! Also, if we own a STR rental permit and we want to sell it someday with our home, they should be transferable. We bought the permit, it is ours !!! If the new owner doesn’t want to rent the home they just purchased then they should have the right to pass and the permit can go back to the town to resell to someone else and continue to limit the number of STR permits like the town told us at the original meetings !
I encourage everyone owning a STR or Property Management Company to call into the meeting that is coming up in the next week and also email the town administrators and all town trustees to let them know how you feel. Their emails are listed below. Now is the time to share your opinion of how you feel and how this will impact you and our customers. Doing nothing or thinking someone else can handle this for us is what lead to us having to pay for higher utilities, STR yearly permits, a one-way road through the heart of Historic Downtown Estes, the demolition of a landmark the Donut Haus and now the parking meters downtown that are an eyesore when the city/town has already spent millions of dollars on a parking ramp ! Remember when the Town of Estes Park shut down due to Covid ? They not only told the STRs that were not living in Estes to STAY away and not come to town, when the town reopened from Covid they let the motels open first and discriminated against STRs and wouldn’t let us rent for quite some time after the motels were opened 1st. Leave the STRs that bring lots of revenue into Estes ALONE and STOP discriminating against us !
This is a CALL TO ACTION to submit your comments to the Town Trustees (See Links Below to the Recorded Study Session and link to submit your comments) to review prior to their August 24th meeting to have your voices heard.
Send your comments to :
email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com;
Thursday, August 19, 2021 at 11:40 AM
You all have a lot of tough decisions to make. Please don't waste money to try and find a nexus between affordable housing and STR's. I can use statistics to support almost anything. More fees on an STR are not going to solve a lack of affordable housing. I have a licensed STR and I am able to use the money I make bringing tourists to town to pay my mortgage and it allows me to provide low cost housing to traveling nurses in the off season. More fees would take away from that.
A more direct solution would be to use the General Fund to BUILD more affordable housing and helping builders to reduce or eliminate some of the indirect government's red tape which adds thousands to the cost of an affordable house.
Thursday, August 19, 2021 at 1:23 PM
Good afternoon all,
I am certain that your emails have been exploding with comments concerning STR's and the study to draw the conclusion that STR's remove affordable housing from the marketplace.
My wife and I have been coming to Estes Park for Decades with our families. In that time there has always been a shortage of employee housing. You should never believe that this is an exclusive situation to Estes Park. This is a nationwide situation with every vacation/tourism location. Trust me Estes Park didn't invent this. To blame it on the STR's is also absurd. If you look at the average cost of a Vacation home in Estes they will be well above the affordability level of Service workers. Why not figure out how to increase their level of income?
Why does the Town and Staff find it necessary to burden STR's with additional Taxes/Fees etc. while other businesses utilize the same exact service personnel classification at a higher rate? Shouldn't they also be burdened by the cost if they are utilizing the classification of workers as well? As I understand there are also grants from the state available to fund exploration for Housing shortages.. Why hasn't Staff made an application for these grants rather than hire their own 3rd party to do the study? Could it be that they couldn't manipulate the data to get the results they are looking for?
STR's have jumped through many hoops. We pay a higher rate for Utilities. We endured the Dark Skies inspection (Which I might add that we were in compliance, and my neighbors do not. Further there is a street light which shines directly into the outside seating area of my property and we have asked multiple times to have the Town put some type of shielding on the light and nothing has been done about that.) We had the Life Safety Inspection which was fine. I don't mind having that completed, I would never want to have anyone injured or perish in my home. We were told we had a few things to accomplish, however I could not do the work myself even though I am a Licensed contractor. Nope, you don't live in the house full time so that wasn't allowed. There's another $14,000.00 out of pocket.
It would appear that someone with a lot more leverage than the STR's (hotel motel/ restaurant industry) has the ear of the Town leaders. Estes Park Citizen and Town philosophy "You visitors just come and leave your money at the gate, but on't stay. All you Vacationers are using up space that the locals have but don't want to pay any more for."
Remember STR's pay taxes too, as well as generate revenue for the Town, the Businesses and the State! How much revenue does the Full time residents Generate? I would bet it is fractional to the amount that STR's Generate.
jclark c <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Thursday, August 19, 2021 at 2:38 PM
Hello City Council –
We have had two STR’s in Estes Park for years and feel we have contributed greatly to the City in many ways thru higher fees and the like. The potential new fees etc. introduced is not equitable. Place this fee on every home in Estes…they get the benefit as we all would. Partner with a private company to get this done….there are many other options. Please let me know if I can help in any way.
Description: Description: Doran_FirstOnly
Realtec Commercial Real Estate Services, Inc.
Office: (970)229-9900 Mobile: (970)215-4532
Jeffrey Doran <email@example.com>
Thursday, August 19, 2021 at 3:34 PM
To: Estes Park Trustees
From: Robert & Carol Korte – Owners of Kings Retreat 1950 Sharon Ct. North
Subject: Affordable Housing Study
As owners of one of Estes Park’s permitted short-term rental (STR) homes, I am once again disappointed in the Estes Park government again looking to the STR’s to fund a study that is not an issue caused by the STR’s. The problem of Affordable Housing in Estes Park has been a long-term problem that has been there for many years. Average prices in houses in Estes Park, which I am assuming has contributed to the housing issue, have been increasing for a number of years and has been a benefit to the City of Estes Park with increases in Real Estate taxes. The STR’s have not caused the issue of increasing real estate prices as the city has capped the number of STR’s a few years ago that can operate within the city. Real Estate prices have gone up as Estes Park is a very desirable place for retirees (I have been told that Estes Park is the retirement capital of Colorado) to come and live and enjoy the wonderful views.
STR’s provide a lot of benefits, (money spent on food, entertainment, souvenirs, parking, other services and the taxes paid on such items) for the city already. We know from the comments that we receive from our guest that they come to Estes Park because they have the opportunity for their whole family to come to Estes and enjoy their vacation in an environment where they can spend their days together in a home instead of in three or four separate motel rooms. I know from my own past vacation experiences that when we wanted the whole family to go to a destination, we chose one where we could rent a whole house big enough for everyone. We did not pick a location where we would have all had to have stayed in separate motel rooms. Thus, the city with the STR location benefitted as opposed to one that did not have the opportunity.
I do not think that the City of Estes Park should again place another tax on the STR’s to pay for a consultant for a long-term problem not specifically caused by them. If the City feels they need someone from outside to look at this issue it should be the City’s responsibility to pay for it as it’s an economic development city issue.
Maybe the city should do what our home town of Keokuk Iowa is doing to combat this very same issue. They formed an organization and have gotten grants and contributions and started a program to build reasonably priced homes in Keokuk.
Without STR’s in Estes Park there would be less families visiting, spending money and generating taxes for the city coffers.
Robert and Carol Korte
Bob Korte <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Thursday, August 19, 2021 at 4:02 PM
Good Afternoon, My family and I have been visiting Estes Park for thirty five years and in all that time I've never seen affordable housing as compared to any community not based on tourism. We too own a home with a short term license. It's the only way this working class family can afford to visit ourselves. Until recent times, short term rentals weren't even part of the landscape. Most of you have been around long enough to know this but seem to be overlooking that key piece of evidence. I believe, without any consideration of factual data to back it up, that short term rentals are being singled out and arbitrarily penalized. If my rudimentary and somewhat hasty research is accurate, 17% of the households in the Estes community are licensed short term rental properties. Since many of these properties are quite large, they could never be viable options for wage and hour employees. It defies common sense and demonstrates a capricious state of mind to place blame and financial burden in a disparate fashion upon short term property owners. ROI's for long term rental property in Estes will not cash flow a purchase (this is nothing new). It is an undeniable, glaring truth that has existed for decades. You cannot solve the employee housing challenge on the back of one portion of property owners. I hope you know there are programs out there at the federal level which will subsidize housing units in order that they can be viable. Those commercial contractors familiar with such housing options should be actively sought out and recruited to help solve the issue. Full cooperation from city hall is imperative for these types of endeavors to be successful. I encourage you to pursue them. In addition, do not forget, short term rentals are substantial in their contribution to the tax coffers now, generating millions in recent years to help build recreation facilities, repair streets, et al.? Housing issues are no different in Estes for employee groups than they are in any tourism destination and shouldn't be mitigated by singling out one sector of the community you can marginalize to achieve political ends. Keep in mind many businesses will suffer with fewer options for the millions of tourists who visit to linger longer. This also drives the financial well being of Estes. Please consider how positive these additional visitors are on the tax revenue because they stay in town rather than traverse back to front range accommodations. I don't have the statistics but it seems quite obvious the entire business community, as well as the town of Estes, benefit greatly. Please think about this, as well. Thanks for listening.
Kent Weems <email@example.com>
Thursday, August 19, 2021 at 5:20 PM
To Whom It May Concern:
I would like to voice my strongest possible objections to an added tax (a government fee is a tax) on short term vacation rentals in order to fund "affordable housing". The need for affordable housing affects every individual and business in this region and to single out one small segment of the business sector to help meet this need is absurd. It should be the position of the town government to incentivize the construction of "affordable housing" and not to tax people to house others. Make things easier, not more burdensome! Get out of the tax and spend mindset and consider alternatives that promote free enterprise and the growth of the tax base.
Thursday, August 19, 2021 at 8:24 PM
A Plea for a Just, Moral, and Ethical Approach to the Vacation Home Philosophy. Question: Can you answer WHY? Why are you considering taxing the vacation home owners to pay for the age-old housing crisis in Estes Park?
If you cannot answer this based on solid, non-biased data proving vacation rentals are the sole cause (or really just a large cause) for housing shortage for locals and employees then I really don’t see any need for moving forward with this ridiculous assumption and waste of tax payer money. Question: Why would you not take advantage of the grants provided by the state of Colorado to produce the very data you need to make a moral, ethical, unbiased decision on the topic?
If you cannot logically come up with a valid reason as to why you would not take advantage of the state of Colorado's resources, then it behooves you to move swiftly to take advantage of it!! choose to legally and ethically research the housing issues for which you want to solely tax the vacation home owners.
Hiring someone you can manipulate and control is not the answer. While hiring a company to gather data that you can then skew in your favor is the American politician’s way, it is not the right way. You all know this. I know the attitude towards vacation rental homes is solely negative among you. You’ve proven it time and time again. The question is why?
Why did you open hotels up during the pandemic shut down? Hotels that have shared spaces and lobbies for the guests to mingle? However, vacation homes were forbidden to operate. Even though a family can be in a safe space alone with online check-in and no forced common spaces. How can this be justified? This still just doesn’t make sense.
Why are vacation rentals forced to pay commercial rates on utilities? Where is the data that comes anywhere NEAR proving that vacation rentals are “more taxing” on the local utilities than someone who lives in their home 365 days a year? There is no proof, yet you raised our rates. Again, it just doesn’t make sense!
There are claims that vacation homes hurt the restaurants and shops economically. Where is your data on this? And, if this exists, where did it come from and how was it obtained?? How does it make sense that tourists don’t boost the bottom line of the local stores? I just don’t get this argument! So, WHY are you against vacation rental homes? WHO is behind the claims that vacation rentals are the root of all of this evil?? If you would honestly answer why as well as who is behind the push to tax/fee us out of business, we could possibly address the underlying issue and move forward with a solution. Instead, you constantly try to find new ways to tax us, create fees for us, and eventually (you hope) price us out of business.
Tell me, if you get your wish and force a lot of vacation homeowners to sell, what will you do then? First, who will be able to afford to purchase these rental homes that will most likely sell for $300,000 or more? Will it be these employees who desperately need housing? NO! It will most likely be to someone who may or may not live here full-time. What will that do to Estes Park’s economy? You will have either empty homes that produce NO revenue for the general town of Estes other than the exorbitant amount of tax you have laid on it. Or, they will be purchased by people who will not be those you are targeting with this proposed absurd tax. There will be no one renting these homes that will spend money in local restaurants, bars and shops.
And, even if these homes do sell to “locals”, how will that help support the local economy? How will that support the shops and restaurants? Locals eat at home! They don’t need t-shirts and trinkets of their visit to your beautiful city. The flow of money to the shops that employ the very people for which housing is needed will decrease! How will this help the population for which you claim to be coming to the rescue? They will now simply lose their jobs. Unless.....that’s what you are after? To minimize
employment? Minimize the number of shops? Minimize the number of tourists to your town? Isn’t that what most tourists hear from locals anyway? “I hate these tourists!”.
In summary, you continue to lay out these “solutions” to these problems you claim to have. Further, you readily and hastily blame the vacation homes for most of these problems. Yet, as usual politics, you offer no solid, unbiased truth to your claims. You incite fear and hatred from locals for vacation rentals with your unsubstantiated claims. that is not a democratic way to run your city. Shame on you all!
It is time for a just, moral, and ethically based attitude toward an entity that cares for their property and brings in so much of the vacation dollars that support your city.
proud vacation home owner
JOHN CLARK <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Friday, August 20, 2021, 8:44 a.m.
To All Concerned with affordable housing in Estes Park,
I want to commend Richard James for doing all his research and providing this valuable information to the city concerning affordable housing. He has done a lot of work for the city leaders. I think his ideas are better than the proposed study on fees and/ or taxes on STR's. Fees and taxes are just a band aid that targets a small group. ( STR's ) A study of affordable housing and a solution using grant money would save the city money and be a more comprehensive solution. If the city does a study on fees or tax for STR's they would STILL need to do research or a study of how to use the money to fix the problem. Why not just fast forward to Richard James's suggestion. The grants are going to be a long-term solution to a long-term problem. Short Term rentals have mainly been around since the late 1990's and have blossomed in the last 10 to 15 years. The problem of affordable housing has been around for much longer. I realize it has gotten much worse lately. The town should have been dealing with this long ago. Water under the bridge! Now, don't single out and penalize one small group for a problem the whole town has. You would be discriminating.
Again, this is a WHOLE community problem that is best dealt with by doing a study and finding a solution to the affordable housing problem, not a specific fee or tax study on STR's.
Let's not forget that this community survives because of tourists and that ALL businesses and services benefit from the tourists and that ALL these businesses and services bring in employees that require housing. This burden of affordable housing should NOT fall on the shoulders of one small group. The study and solution to the problem should encompass the whole community.
Thank You for your time and consideration,
Nicole Schneider <Niki@planllc.org>
Friday, August 20, 2021, 1:30 p.m.
Utilize federal and state grants targeted specifically for affordable housing rather than charging or taxing a very small percentage of the community for a problem that is community wide. Affordable Housing: My wife and I watched the Estes Park Trustee meeting regarding Short Term Rental philosophy and discussion regarding assessing fees or taxes on STRs. Like many others it was a life-long dream to live in Estes that we did not think was possible due to the cost of living. Five years ago we purchased a condo as our residence and because of the ability to use it as a short-term rental when we are not in town we have been able to afford to happily live here. As lifelong Social Workers we have a great interest in serving others and a special interest in helping those who need affordable housing. We agree this that needs to be made a priority for the town of Estes Park and support consideration of grants and public funding available to start this process. We will be retiring at the end of the year and look forward to becoming more active in volunteer roles in the community to help in meeting community needs such as this.
We do not believe that singling out Short Term Rental property owners is the way to solve this problem and that to do so is not equitable or fair. All commercial STRs, hotels, restaurants, bars, and businesses who employ people in the service industry benefit from their work and need to contribute a fair share of the costs of providing them affordable housing, if such a fee or tax is judged the only way to accomplish this goal. In fact, STRs only employ 1 or 2 people in the service industry, while these other businesses employ many more of them. Further, STRs could not afford to rent our homes for affordable housing as we live in them much of the year ourselves. For the past three years, we have only rented our home 60-75 nights. There is only rental interest from June through August, with some additional weekends in the fall, meaning the maximum number of rentable nights for the year is 90-100 total. We already pay sales tax, property management fee, cleaning and laundry fees, annual rental license fees. If an additional tax or fee were to be added it would price STRs out of competition with hotels and other accommodations in the Estes Park short term rental market. We earn only about $10,000 past costs for the STR, which helps us to live in Estes Park as retirees. Since it is the entire Estes Community, all residents, who benefit from the work and service of the service industry who need affordable housing, a solution that does not put the burden on one very small part of the community needs to be found.
Adding another tax or fee to the businesses and residents of Estes Park is not the way to go. The availability of grants at this key time is a wonderful and timely opportunity to pursue to solve this problem that Estes Park has faced long term. We understand that House Bill 21-1271 was enacted into law on June 27, 2021. It will provide $13 million to communities that adopt rules that promote affordable housing projects. The legislation would create three grant programs for housing development, planning and a “affordable housing guided toolkit” for communities, all managed by the Division of Local Government and the Department of Local Affairs. We understand that the application for the first of these grants is a competitive process, and that the first application for the study grant is due sometime in September. For more information see https://coloradosun.com/2021/06/09/colorado-mountains-developers-affordable-housing-funding/
STR License Cap: The presentation regarding the license cap seemed more concerned for people who would like a license than those who had gone through the whole application, getting the home to meet standards, and complying year after year with the license. The city determined the cap and it can choose to increase it whenever it deems it appropriate. In the meantime, the focus should be on good relations with those it does license. It seems that the city could determine approximately how many licenses generally turn over in a given year or two and allow only that many homes on a waiting list.
Transferability: Whenever a change in a rule is imposed, it seems fairest to make it effective going forward, not backward to some past date, such as 2016. Even though the language in the rental license changed then, the city did not change the rule on transferability then. In the interest of good community relations, it would seem most fair to change the rule only for any new STRs approved going forward if and when the city council changes the transferability.
Sale Price of STR homes: We would also like to speak to the question of the general understanding that relators told someone that STR homes sold for $50,000 more than comparable homes. There was no concrete data to support this, and if there were it would understandably show a range depending on the size and price of the home.
We would like to provide a personal example. We bought our condo in excellent condition because we did not have the time or finances to fix it up to live in and make it meet STR standards. Little did we know how strict those standards would be. The inspector came up with a list of 17 small but altogether expensive changes we had to make to pass inspection. We were shocked and struggled. It cost us $12,000, which put us in the hole for more than our whole first season of rentals, not to mention living there ourselves. These included the following, to show you how stringent they are: exterior, night sky friendly lighting over outside stairs; inside stairs had handrail but it had to be grooved requiring it to be removed, grooved, and restained to match other woodwork; address letters by front door had to be illuminated; all electrical work had to be double checked/tested by a new electrician to ensure it was correct; the size of the ground level deck was 6x8, not 5 x 5 as per records (why was this important anyway?); the fireplace had to have another inspector come out to ensure it was direct vent (and it was but we had to pay for the service); the railings along the inside stairs were 6 inches apart but needed to be 3 inches apart, so additional railings had to be added and stained to match; the mechanical room needed fire blocking, which made sense; the ceiling vent from the garage was not constructed according to current codes and had to be changed; they didn’t have a record of a building permit from the much earlier division of one large bedroom into two smaller ones, so that had to be applied for/approved along with an electrical permit for the wiring that had been done before, even though they had been permitted at the time and were up to standard currently; smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms had to be placed in each bedroom and hallway (we were happy to add the additional ones needed). Why should we not be able to sell the home if/when we sell it as a STR since we have done all the work and paid all the cost to make it meet standards? Commercial properties are not penalized for making their properties commercial when they go to sell them.
We would like the trustees to also understand that the people we know who own STR homes do it to help ourselves be able to afford living in Estes Park, not as a commercial venture to make a lot of money. We trust this personal example gives provides you helpful additional input on factors to consider as you debate these matters. and request ta
We appreciate the trustees’ careful deliberations on so many topics necessary to keep Estes Park the wonderful small town we are so thankful to live in and be a part of.
John and Becky Leverington
1070 Crestview Court, Unit 8
Estes Park, CO 80517
John Leverington <email@example.com>
Friday, August 20, 2021, 2:19 p.m.
I am writing this letter to add my thoughts on the August 10th Study Session. I will start by saying that I am not a Colorado native or a full-time resident of Estes Park. Nevertheless, I have deep ties to the town, I have business interests here and I have a great appreciation for the town and the awesome natural beauty that draws millions to the area every year. I took serious interest in the real estate market in the Estes Valley in 2016 and have been immersed in the same ever since.
As all of you are aware, housing wasn’t “affordable” in the sense that the board is currently viewing the issue from in 2016 (or well before), it isn’t now and likely never will be without subsidization. That being the case, it seems that STR owners are being singled out and looked to as a financial solution to a problem that they didn’t create. This issue has nothing to do with short term rentals and everything to do with the charm and natural beauty that draw the previously mentioned crowds to the area every year. This same charm and beauty are likely what kept or drew everyone reading this letter to Estes Park as well. There is no denying that homes that have a transferrable STR license bring a premium in comparison to those that don’t but with the current cap, STRs make up a fraction of all homes in the Estes Valley and are hardly a driving factor in the overall market. Evidence to substantiate this is readily available.
My family bought our first vacation rental in Estes Park in 2017 and shortly thereafter my impression was that the Town Trustees and many full time residents take a negative view of STRs in general. Let me be clear, my intent here is not to be critical of the Town Trustees or anyone for that matter but to add perspective from the viewpoint of a vacation home owner. All of you have a great deal of responsibility and I have the utmost respect for your willingness to serve. My perception is based on what seems like an ever-changing rulebook, increasing and/or added fees and inconsistencies in how STRs are regulated in comparison to hotels and motels which provide a similar service. I would point to the additional restrictions placed on STR properties versus hotels/motels during the pandemic mandates last year as an example of the latter.
Regarding the transfer of STR permits, for the last several years it has been the practice of the Town of Estes Park to allow the transfer of permits with the sale of a permitted house. In fact, as you are all aware that procedure is outlined on the town website which further establishes the precedent that has been set. If the Town Trustees elect to discontinue this practice, I feel it will be a great disservice to both the owners and potential buyers of those properties as well as to the town of Estes Park.
The downside of changing the established practice in respect to the property owners is self-explanatory but not allowing these transfers will result in lost revenue for the town. Being very familiar with the vacation rental market I can tell you that taking an established, earning vacation property off the market just because the ownership changes and then replacing it with a property with no rental history will in fact, without a doubt, result in a net loss in revenue for the town. Financially, this practice is akin to not allowing the sale of any established business in town but instead requiring that business to close if ownership of the real estate changes so a totally new and unknown business can open at a different location. The difference in revenue will be drastically different and ultimately will affect the revenue of the Town of Estes Park.
If the intent of this issue is to identify a source of funding to subsidize workforce housing (which I fully support) then I would offer an alternative to discontinuing the transfer of STR licenses that would help in achieving that goal. I have no specific information, perhaps you do, but I would anticipate that a considerable number of STR licenses that have been issued are being held by homeowners who don’t actively rent their homes and have no intent of doing so. They simply hold the permit and pay the fees as they know that having the permit increases the value of their home significantly. Alternatively, some hold the permits simply so they can’t be issued to someone else in a futile attempt reduce the number of tourist that come to their town. Aside from the annual fees, the town derives no revenue from these licenses meanwhile, the homeowners who hold them are depriving the town of much needed revenue. With the cap in place, this loss of revenue will only increase as homeowners on the waitlist with similar intentions get their turn at a license they will never use. If the town wants to study revenue sourcing I would suggest this issue as a good place to start.
Rather than eliminating the transfer of licenses I would propose enacting changes that would require homeowners who hold a STR license to actively utilize their license or forfeit it. This isn’t the platform to outline this procedure in detail but placing requirements on a minimum number of nights per year the property must be rented for example could generate significant income for the town that is currently being lost. Enacting such a policy would without a doubt generate more revenue for Estes Park without increasing the cap on STR properties which I believe is also a concern amongst the some of the Town Trustees and residents.
As for increasing and/or adding fees I am in general, opposed. Ultimately, as a result of this ongoing discussion I would presume that an increase in fees to STR owners will likely happen anyway. Going back to my earlier point of what I feel is a negative view of STR properties in general I would ask, why are these properties being singled out? Why is there not a movement to increase fees, taxes, etc. on all businesses within Estes Park? After all, the housing crisis touches nearly every business in town to some degree yet the owners of STR properties are being singled out even though such properties make up a fraction of all housing in the Estes Valley.
No one blames the owners of businesses on Elkhorn for the high price of commercial real estate downtown and there is no talk to taxing those businesses to pay for the development of “affordable” commercial properties, how is this problem any different than the issue at hand? Where is the equality in imposing taxes and fees on one subset of business within the town to pay for a problem that affects nearly every business in town whether they be restaurants, bars or any of the various other types of business in Estes Park? To be clear, I don’t want to see an increase in fees and/or taxation for any business in Estes Park and my intent here is not to suggest any such idea.
I would like to thank all of you for your dedication to the betterment of Estes Park and for hearing my concerns.
Nathan Weems <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Friday, August 20, 2021, 3:45 p.m.
To whom it may concern,
I wanted to voice my opinion on the Town of Estes spending money for a survey/consultant or even considering a fee or extra tax on STRs for renting our home out. I strongly oppose the Town of Estes for singling out STRs as this has nothing to do with the Affordable Housing situation in Estes Park. STRs bring a huge amount of tourists into our Town, spending lots of money and generating a lot of sales tax/revenue in our community. I know the town looks down on STRs, however these tourists would stay in other communities if we didn’t rent our home out when we are not using them. We bring revenue into Estes and are not the bad guy. Please find another way to generate funds for affordable house in Estes. I thought the town had a cap on the number of SBRs in Estes ? How are more permits being issued to allow other rentals to convert/become SBRs and reducing the number of rentals for the working members around town ?
Thank you for listening,
Aaron Acela <email@example.com>