Grand County updates short-term rental regulations |

Grand County updates short-term rental regulations

Grand County commissioners have approved some changes to short-term rental regulations as part of an ongoing effort to increase enforcement.

The changes are meant to target two main issues with short-term rentals in the county, the first being annual permitting.

The county first started taking a harder look at short-term rentals last July, when it was discovered that over half of the short-term rentals in unincorporated Grand County were operating without a permit. Since then, the county has been working to improve enforcement and has named Christian Hornbaker as the county’s STR coordinator to work through the various issues.

The short-term rental zoning regulations, with the change approved Tuesday, now require that a permit be obtained on an annual basis running from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, standardizing a renewal date for all STR operators.

Operators who want to get a permit at any other time in the year still can, with the permit prorated to Dec. 31.

Hornbaker noted that this may mean more work for county employees around the end of the year, but by standardizing the renewal date it will make it easier for the county to know if an operator has failed to renew their permit.

The other change relates to a 24-hour local contact. The regulations for short-term rentals already requires two people be responsible for managing the rental when occupied and responding within an hour to any issues.

The change approved by commissioners adds a sentence stating that the county may verify those contacts on an annual basis. This is meant to help improve responses to complaints at short-term rentals.

Commissioners unanimously approved the changes.

Last week, Host Compliance, the county’s STR compliance monitoring and enforcement program, began sending fine letters for non-compliance to 83 accounts.

County staff is also discussing taxes on short-term rentals that could fund affordable housing projects, though nothing has been finalized. A proposal with more details will be brought to the commissioners at a future date.

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