Municipal governments in Summit County are racing in circles trying to solve the short-term housing dilemma. There are five general categories of owners/residents in this county.
- Full time resident ownersliving here, having paid property taxes for several years, children go to school, invested in the community, etc.
- Part-time resident owners: “snowbirds” and “coolbirds” – stay several months a year to ski or escape the heat of their state. Residents four to eight months.
- vacation owners: visit a few times a year but rent out their properties much of the year.
- AirBNBers: bought the property for investment purposes and is managed as a hotel room. These may be company owned units or the owner may own many local properties and rent them all out throughout the year.
- Longer term tenants: ski rental or summer season, 6-month lease or annual or multi-year lease
The municipalities want to multiply the options for #5 but seem to be unfairly punishing #1 and #2, who arguably are the most invested (both money and time) in this community. There used to be a class of short-term permits that allowed these two parties to rent short-term for less than 180 days. This allowed the owner to maximize his time in the community while maximizing the utility of his property. These two classes of owners have no impact on housing supply because they use their property in the long-term way that the county and cities are trying to encourage. Governments must reinstate the 180-day permit.
Numbers 3 and 4 are totally different animals – and where the solution lies. No one is against this money-making class of investors, but governments need to craft a solution where the most invested owners (#1 and #2) in this community are not punished.