Short-term rental regulation tops discussion at Grand Lake Board meeting |

Short-term rental regulation tops discussion at Grand Lake Board meeting

The sun shines on Grand Lake Town Hall in this 2020 picture. The town's board of trustees meets every second and fourth Monday of the month.
Robert Mendoza/Sky-Hi News archive

At their meeting Monday night, Grand Lake’s Board of Trustees discussed possible new regulations for short-term rentals and approved resolutions to grant a driveway variance and give part-time town employees paid time off. 

The short-term rental discussion came first, taking up all 90 minutes of allotted workshop time. Multiple community members spoke in support of the rentals, with many asking the board not to limit the number of licenses available. Trustees emphasized that they want to find a balance between supporting short-term rentals and building community. 

“Those that have licenses now would see very little impact moving forward,” Mayor Steve Kudron said. “The difference would be in the fees. If there’s someone that has a license, this board isn’t looking to take away licenses.”

Trustees indicated that limiting total licenses or the number that one person or entity can hold would aim to ensure that owners are engaged in the community. 

Potential changes include limiting the total number of short-term rental licenses, increasing the fee for a license, allowing rentals in all zones, changing the penalty for code violations, removing the current 10-day grace period for violations, loosening requirements for local contacts and limiting the number of licenses one individual can hold.

The board views the issue as being separate from the affordable housing crisis, according to Kudron. 

“We have an affordable housing problem,” Kudron said. “We have short-term rentals that have perceived issues with noise, degrading of the community, and things like noise and trash. This board specifically has separated those two.”

Kudron said the board will discuss short-term rentals, take more public comment and give staff direction at a future meeting, with the hope of having new rules in place by Jan. 1, 2023.

Other business

  • Trustees approved the minutes for their meetings on Aug. 22, July 11 and June 27, as well as the accounts payable for Sept. 12. Kudron said accounts payable will not be posted before meetings anymore because scammers have used the documents to make forgeries and steal money from governments, including Grand Lake.
  • Town Treasurer Heike Wilson presented a draft of the town’s Fiscal Year 2023 budget and calendar. The budget proposes a 5% contraction in spending, according to Kudron.
  • Trustees approved an intergovernmental agreement with the Grand County Clerk for ballot issues this November.
  • The board approved a resolution to provide paid time off to part-time employees, which was discussed at the last meeting. Year-round employees working 24-32 hours per week will now earn three hours of paid time off per pay period.
  • Trustees approved a resolution that will allow a property on Lake Avenue to have a special variance in its driveway due to geographic hardship. The planning commission had recommended granting the variance Aug. 3.
  • The board directed town staff to negotiate a pre-annexation agreement for four acres of land south of the town’s water building on West Portal Road. The owner applied for pre-annexation so that they could connect to the town’s water system. 
  • In his manager’s report, John Crone mentioned Constitution Week; a Sept. 21 event celebrating the completion of the Main Street: Open for Business program; the marina closing on Monday; the sale of the final boat in a fleet the town auctioned off; the marijuana ballot questions to be presented at the next meeting ;and the resignation of the town’s public works director.
  • During public comments, Jim McComb from the Grand County American Legion post thanked the board for supporting the dedication of Veterans Memorial Park, and resident Pat Farmer said she thinks the board will handle the short-term rental situation well.
  • In his mayor’s report, Kudron talked about other communities facing similar issues as Grand Lake, his positive opinion about the way the town is addressing affordable housing and wanting to see more action out of the town’s creative district. He also complemented the staff for their handling of controversy. 
  • Crone said marijuana legalization and short-term rental regulations will be on the next meeting agenda

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