The Colorado Association of Ski Towns plans to study vacation rental regulations in Durango and similar mountain towns this spring.
The association will focus on the success of vacation-rental regulations and the effect the rentals have on communities. It also will address how vacation rentals are affecting workforce housing, said Joyce Burford, executive director of the Colorado Association of Ski Towns.
The possibility that vacation rentals are cutting into available workforce housing has been a particular concern among the smaller towns in the association.
“There’s a concern but not a crisis,” she said.
This aspect of vacation rentals has not been a major concern in Durango, said City Manager Ron LeBlanc. However, the City Council passed vacation-rental regulations in fall that capped the number of vacation rentals at 3 percent of the homes in the historic downtown neighborhoods after residents voiced concern.
In addition to Durango, Park City, Utah; Steamboat Springs; Frisco; Breckenridge; Ouray; Crested Butte; and others will participate in the study and share the cost, Burford said.
The Durango City Council agreed to spend $1,950 to participate in research, according to city documents.
The association will be working with the city manager for each municipality and local housing specialists that the managers recommend to complete the study, she said. For example, they may work with planning departments or local housing authorities.
The association has not created parameters for judging the success of vacation-rental regulations because the rules that work for one town may not work for another, Burford said.
The study’s findings will be compiled into a best-practices guide for regulating vacation rentals.
Durango may consider making changes to vacation-rental laws based on the findings.
“We’d have to see the results, and that will determine whether we have to make any adjustments,” LeBlanc said.
The Durango Planning Commission was scheduled to meet Monday to consider allowing two vacation rentals in Ryler Park, a small neighborhood on Florida Road, but the evening meeting was canceled because of weather.
Durango’s planning staff members recommended that the vacation rentals be allowed, because the neighborhood includes both single-family homes and duplexes. The staff also found broad support within the neighborhood for the short-term rentals.
Durango has not allowed vacation rentals in strictly single-family neighborhoods, such as Crestview, Riverview and Hillcrest.