A new fight over vacation rentals may be brewing after the Durango Planning Commission voted against allowing vacation rentals in Crimson Cliff Townhomes, a neighborhood on Animas View Drive.
Mike McAliney, the owner of the company that manages the Crimson Cliff Homeowners Association, decided Wednesday he will appeal the commission’s decision to bring the issue before Durango City Council.
The commission voted 3-1 Monday night against allowing vacation rentals within the neighborhood, but all the commissioners agreed that rentals should not be allowed.
“The developer shouldn’t be calling shots for the whole community, even though he still owns the majority of the lots,” said Joe Lewandowski, a planning commissioner.
“If the community wants to allow vacation rentals, it should be up to the community after it’s built up,” he said.
The 58-unit complex is not fully built, and the developer, Buenos Dias, LLC, still owns 21 of the lots and townhomes and, therefore, controls 20 of 41 votes that brought the request before the commission.
But if you disregard 20 of the developer’s 21 votes, that still leaves a 21 to 9 result in favor, McAliney argued.
Commissioner Geoff Hickcox was the only dissenting vote. He said he disagreed with his fellow board members’ reasoning.
“I didn’t want to support what I thought was the wrong reason to deny it,” he said.
But he agreed that vacation rentals would likely not be appropriate because each townhome does not have enough parking to meet current city requirements for vacation rentals.
However, McAliney said the parking issues could be managed.
“Those are issues we deal with at every homeowners association we manage,” he said.
Across the city, there are 43 vacation rental permits active or pending, said Scott Shine, a city planner.
Some concerned residents felt vacation rentals in historic areas would destabilize the neighborhood.
In one established neighborhood, the area east of East Third Avenue and north of First Street, all 22 permits are active or pending.
In another established neighborhood, along Main Avenue from about 16th Street to 32nd Street, 11 permits remain of the 17 allowed in the neighborhood.
This story has been updated to reflect McAliney’s correct title.