Moratorium on seasonal rental permits proposed | New


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Aspen city council continued discussions on the crackdown on short-term rentals on Tuesday with a first reading of an ordinance they verbally supported on November 16.

But in a surprise move, city staff presented an emergency ordinance which, if passed tonight at a special meeting, would impose a moratorium on all residential development and vacation rental permits until the 31st. May of next year. The Council could vote this evening to extend this date.

Community Development Director Phillip Supino said the emergency ordinance will give the city, businesses and the community a chance to take six months to discuss the future of STRs in Aspen.

“We’ve heard from the advice and the community and people are concerned about this set of issues,” Supino said. “The Council’s desire to use the tool of a moratorium to create a space to have a conversation about these important issues can help the community align its policies with its regulations. “

On November 16, council asked city staff to take immediate action regarding short-term rentals, according to a note from Supino. Specifically, staff were asked to limit the number of STRs for 2022 to those with a valid 2021 permit, not to issue a 2022 permit, extend the validity of 2021 permits until 2022 and return to the board. in the first quarter of 2022 for a working session to present the possible regulatory responses to STRs.

The recommended accompanying ordinance, which council approved on first reading Tuesday, would establish an amendment to the city’s land use code, which requires a political resolution by ordinance and a public hearing.

Confusion reigned when members of the public who came to speak at the public hearing were told their comments would not be taken into account when discussing the emergency order. The two orders, although related, were distinct and the emergency order did not require a public hearing.

However, Mayor Torre allowed a handful of procedural questions, given the number of hands raised in the room. Several Aspen residents who manage DOS were present in the room and on WebEx and were understandably confused about the timeline established by the two orders. The city rarely issues emergency ordinances, but city officials have said it is necessary for the good of the community.

The council approved the emergency ordinance on first reading, and in doing so, held a special council meeting at 7 p.m. tonight for a second reading in the armory building on South Galena Street. The meeting will not be a public hearing, but members of the public can observe it in person or through WebEx.

Anyone who needs to apply for an STR permit or business license will need to visit the city’s finance department today to start the process. All existing 2021 permits will be carried over to 2022, and all permits issued today will also be maintained. All applicants will need a business license for 2021 and 2022, and apply for a 2021 STR permit.

After today, no new business permits will be issued if the emergency ordinance is passed, but all existing permits will remain valid. The city will use the next six months to discuss STRs, and the public will be involved in those discussions, Torre said.

The next opportunity for the public to comment on short term rentals will be next Tuesday (December 14) at the next regular council meeting.

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