Kremmling short-term rentals mostly untapped, wholly untamed

Kremmling’s town board is approaching a hot topic in mountain communities with a hands-off attitude.

Unlike most of the towns in Grand County, Kremmling currently doesn’t regulate short-term rentals. According to Town Manager Dan Stoltman, the town code does not even specify whether short-term renting is allowed within town limits.

On Wednesday, he asked the town board if they wanted to change that.

“Most places do have a process,” Stoltman said. “I’m not even looking for a permitting process, just something as simple as ‘we allow it.’”

Trustees, however, quickly shut that down. Citing private property rights, board members agreed that they preferred as few regulations as possible, or in this case none.

While discussions on affordable housing often turn to short-term rental regulation in mountain communities, including Grand, one trustee seemed to sum up the board’s approach.

“There’s a whole movement right now where people are adverse to STRs because they think it’s a greedy homeowner, and they should be more compassionate, and rent it long-term to a high school teacher,” he said. “So it’s like, ‘Let’s tell these homeowners they can’t do that.’ But it’s their house.”

Kremmling does collect taxes on STRs through the state, though it’s not a huge amount.

Compared to other towns in Grand County, Kremmling has relatively few short-term rentals. Stoltman estimated there are about a dozen STRs operating in town.

A Friday search for Kremmling rentals turned up nine listings on Airbnb and seven on Vrbo. For comparison, Grand Lake has 82 on Airbnb and 101 on VRBO.

Responding to to the town manager’s request for clarity, trustees said that if someone asks to operate an short-term rental in town, nothing in the code prohibits it.

In other business:

• There is an opening on the town’s planning and zoning commission. Interested applicants can send a letter of interest to town hall.

• After hearing a presentation on the countywide memorandum of understanding for a drought preparedness plan, trustees decided to table the topic and hold a workshop on it.

• The board approved moving forward with spending up to $4,000 to transfer utility bill payments to Xpress Bill Pay Service. The move should improve online accessibility and paperless billing for utilities. Stoltman said it will take a few months to implement.

• Trustees approved a resolution authorizing the project for the Open for Business grant offered by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, with the town not offering any matching funds. Stoltman said as of Wednesday about six or seven business were applying for the funds.

• The board agreed to continue the code enforcement officer position through to the end of the year, which should cost about $10,000, according to Stoltman. The position was introduced earlier this summer.

The police department is still short an officer and so can afford the expense. The position will likely be added to the town budget for next year.

• Trustees directed staff to bring a discussion to the next planning and zoning meeting to consider whether the town might want to adjust code to permit accessory dwelling units in some zoning areas.

• The board agreed to start scheduling a standing workshop at 6:30 p.m. on the first Wednesdays of the month. The town meetings will continue to be on third Wednesdays.

• As the liquor licensing authority, the trustees approve a renewal for Mount Dragon.

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