Grand Lake passes new short-term rental regulations, including simplified license approval and larger maximum fines

A screenshot of the Zoom for Grand Lake's Board of Trustees meeting Dec. 12 shows the board discussing marijuana regulations with Brian Blumenfeld, a lawyer who specializes in cannabis.
Town of Grand Lake/Screenshot

The Grand Lake Board of Trustees met Monday night and approved new regulations for short term rentals in the town. The board had discussed potential regulations at past meetings and instructed town staff to draft changes based on their consensus.

Town Manager John Crone went over the changes with the board. They include adjustments to licensing fees, penalties for violations, local contact rules, posting of rules, advertising regulations, parking and noise issues and the application process.

“I can’t believe there’s no one in the audience,” Crone said as he started talking about the regulations. Previous meetings covering short-term rental rules have drawn public comment, especially from those who support the rentals.

Crone said staff tried to incorporate everything the board wanted to change into the ordinance presented last night, but the specific amounts for new violation and licensing fee structures need to be approved later with other town fee structures.

The ordinance makes 10 changes to the regulations. The first allows applications to be approved administratively, instead of through board approval, without giving neighboring property owners the opportunity to oppose the short-term rental before it receives its license.

The second change makes licenses valid for 12 months after their issuance date, not from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31. The third creates a tiered fee structure based on occupancy, but the fees will be set at one of the board’s meetings in January 2023. 

The fourth lets properties’ contact people live up to 45 minutes away, an increase from the previous limit of 15 minutes, which will allow for professional management companies as far away as Winter Park and Kremmling to manage properties. 

“It will provide for more professionalism in the management companies,” Crone said. “It will make it better, despite kind of lessening the restriction of the ordinance.”

The fifth change requires occupancy and parking limits to be posted in advertisements. The sixth requires that rules and regulations, noise ordinances and the contact person’s information be posted in the units.

The seventh change raises the maximum penalty from $300 to $1,500. Crone pointed out that every day a short-term rental has a violation counts as a new violation, so penalty charges can add up quickly. Three rule violations can lead to a six month license suspension and five violations can lead to a revocation of a license, thanks to the eighth change.

Change number nine allows the fire department to set its fees for life safety inspections, and the 10th change requires the unit’s license number to be posted in advertisements.

The trustees, not including the absent Mike Arntson and Baxter Strachan, approved the changes unanimously.

Other business:

  • Superintendent Darla Sidles, Public Information Officer Kyle Patterson and Supervisory Management Specialist John Hannon from Rocky Mountain National Park gave a presentation to the board about the park’s timed entry permit system and Long-Range Visitor Use Management Plan, which the park will host a virtual meeting about at 6 p.m. on Dec. 15.
  • Brian Blumenfeld, a lawyer who specializes in cannabis and has advised the board in creating marijuana regulations, spoke with the board about topics including the number of dispensaries, licensing lottery system, dispensary location and design, signs and marketing.
  • Several residents made comments about the marijuana regulation discussion to show their opposition for marijuana businesses opening in Grand Lake and asking the board to consider public input as much as it can in creating regulations.
  • Crone talked about the recent grant the town’s creative district received, affordable housing projects at Portal Crossing and Mary Drive, upcoming events and the status of ice forming on the lake for the skating rink.
  • The board approved the minutes from its Nov. 28 meeting and accounts payable from Dec. 12.
  • Treasurer Heike Wilson gave presentations to the board about the town’s November financials and October sales tax data.
  • Trustees approved a contract between the town and the Grand Lake Chamber of Commerce for 2023. Crone said it had a few semantic, but no significant, changes from the previous contract.
  • The board approved a 60-day extension of Crone’s contract to give the town more time to negotiate a new one.
  • Trustees approved a contract with PR Painting to provide Christmas lights on town properties.
  • The board voted to cancel its second meeting in December, which would have been Dec. 26. Kudron said it has become a tradition for the board to cancel that meeting for the holidays.
  • The board held an executive session about a negotiation relating to the town’s use of an alley.
More Like This, Tap A Topic

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

The Sky-Hi News strives to deliver powerful stories that spark emotion and focus on the place we live.

Over the past year, contributions from readers like you helped to fund some of our most important reporting, including coverage of the East Troublesome Fire.

If you value local journalism, consider making a contribution to our newsroom in support of the work we do.