Thursday, May 12 2022

Of all the homes in Summit County, more than one in five are listed as overnight rentals. That’s according to the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, which says it’s the highest percentage of any county in the state.

While Park City and other municipalities have limited overnight rentals in certain areas, Summit County Executive Tom Fisher said that’s only because those laws were in effect before the state legislature. State take steps to prevent local governments from regulating listings on sites like Airbnb and Vrbo.

Fisher said overnight rentals could affect housing affordability because homes that could have been rented to workers are no longer available in the long-term rental pool. And it comes as local businesses struggle to find help.

“It’s not just an issue in terms of the completeness of our housing stock and its availability for people to live here. But there are also issues around how those who rent nightly rentals act in a neighborhood, and whether they act as good neighbors or not,” Fisher said.

A report from the Summit County District Attorney’s Office says these non-neighbouring neighbors can impact the community with loud parties that last well into the night or knocking on residents’ doors at all hours looking for an Airbnb. Parking is also a common problem, which sometimes ends up in the local police register.

Screenshot courtesy of Airbnb

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Map data courtesy of Google

This screenshot shows some of the Airbnb listings available in the Snyderville Basin. A policy research institute said Summit County had the highest percentage of homes listed as overnight rentals – 21.5%.

As of 3:45 p.m. Wednesday, Summit County Council is set to discuss the matter with the prosecutor’s office in a bid to find out what regulatory options are available.

Nightly rentals should already be allowed, but it is difficult to enforce this requirement. Homeowners associations can, however, prohibit rentals in their neighborhoods.

Potential county-level solutions suggested by the prosecutor’s office appear to involve enforcing the existing health code or fire code. This could mean limiting the number of people who can be in a home or limiting overnight rentals in areas with increased wildfire risk. Other solutions include limiting the number of days a home can be used for overnight rental or requiring a landlord or agent to be available at all hours to respond to a potential complaint.

The report suggests imposing a temporary zoning ordinance to prevent an influx of new overnight rental applications while the county works on ordinances to mitigate negative impacts.

The county is prohibited from blocking someone from listing their property on an overnight rental site, one of the ways Fisher said state lawmakers have narrowed the enforcement of homeownership regulations. nightly rental.

“Well, I don’t know how we’re going to get around that yet. I mean, I think that’s what we want to hear from the DA’s office, what the possibilities are,” Fisher said. “One of the big issues is that from a tax perspective, from a property tax perspective, we can’t look up properties that are rented overnight on their online systems to see if they’re actually taxed correctly.”

Fisher said the legislature imposed the restrictions in part because lawmakers viewed overnight rentals as a way for people to make money off their property and stay in their homes.

He called it a “one-size-fits-all” solution, but said it was not suitable for resort communities.

“There are a lot of restrictions like that, which we have to work around,” Fisher said. “And if they can’t be circumvented, then maybe we can work with our legislature to see if there’s a way to change the law to still achieve their goals, but maybe also accomplish ours.”

The council meeting will be broadcast on the county’s Facebook page and via Zoom.

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