Outlawing Short-Term Rentals Will Lead to Further Gentrification
by Peter Yarrow
Jun 02, 2012 | 2000 views | 6 6 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In my opinion, the most compelling aspect of the debate in Telluride about homeowners being forbidden to rent out their homes or portions of their homes to visitors is the fact that the less than affluent homeowners frequently rely upon this income in order to stay in Telluride.

Taking away their right to rent, short-term, would further gentrify Telluride and, to me, that’s awful. So many year-round residents take multiple jobs to stay here. I treasure their presence.

Many of them, and I do know a bunch, are greatly dependent upon being able to rent out their homes part-time. I would hate, hate, hate to lose these Telluride citizens. They and their spirit is a major reason that I come back again and again. To me, they are the keepers of the wonderful spirit of Telluride from days of yore. 

The affluent homeowners generally have a caretaker, a caretaker’s cottage, or someone living there when they are gone. They don’t rent their places out, long or short-term, so changing the rules regarding allowing homeowners to have short-term rentals is irrelevant to them.
Last, I know that many of the “Telluride visionaries” who came here in the 60s and 70s managed to luck out with an affordable home and are therefore able to hang on to it.

In good faith, respecting their ownership of their homes, their need to get income from rentals and, in the spirit of fairness to them and this history, I say let them rent as they please. (And it’s also fair to require them to report this income and do all we can to make sure that some of the tax stays in our region to support what’s best and most wonderful about Telluride.)
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June 10, 2012
What is the problem that requires banning rentals of private homes? What facts exist and where did they come from?

We live in Mountain Village and pay taxes to the Village, MVOA and the county, through MVOA we pay for the gondola. Essentially, this system of three layers of government was created by the developers to shift costs in other directions, perhaps making much of the modern ski area possible. For the most part those who benefitted have left the building.

Apparently we can't hike up to ski anymore. Visitors to Telluride can hike the valley trails or drive to forest access such as Lizard Head but the trails out of Mountain Village were closed late into what I thought was a very dry season.

I have heard it intimated that homeowners are a bad thing for the economy here because they might not eat out as often or utilize their homes like a hotel. But now they want to make sure there is no possibility of greater utilization?

I don't rent out my home but I would like to know I could if I wanted to. I'd like to be free to hike up and ski down, too.

What am I missing?

June 10, 2012
Good evening Mr MV Resident.

I dont think the San Miguel County ban would include the municipality of TMV.

You nailed it on motive, though. Once you pay the RETT, the county and towns want more taxing action, allowing you some way to keep your home keeps it off the real estate market..they want to turn the owned inventory into new RETT exist for the likes of Fisher, May, Goodtimes...

People are suffering and need the rental income. Meanwhile, Goodtimes is angling for another term so he can qualify for a great pension, May is joining some committee and Fisher has plans on your house...

This is the way it looks to me.
June 09, 2012
I believe Peter's underlying premise is spot on and is one of two major contentions I have with this proposal.

Gentrification is only one aspect of a larger issue of denying reasonable access to a very unique and beautiful place on this planet via unnecessary regulation. I believe that Telluride region could've easily have been a National Park, but the free market beat the feds to the punch. In my opinion, imposing a restriction on the ability to rent one's property short term, we'll be effectively doing the exact opposite of what we ought to be doing ... encouraging as many people to visit and experience the area as possible vs. creating walls and gates.

My second contention is simply with respect to simply "making up the rules as we go along" with respect what ought to be a very level playing field regarding private property rights ... simply because a particular set of individuals may have expectations which are beyond the scope of historically accepted LUC parameters. Sorry, you can't move the goal posts by imposing Scottsdale-esq HOA requirements AFTER THE FACT!

This is such a non-issue to so many county residents that I believe it's not a fair "test" to the BOCC to say that we have two dozen residents in favor of new restrictions and have only a handful opposing. In other words, only the squeaky wheel is going to squeak on this issue ... and I don't believe the BOCC ought use any sort of "popularity" metric on this front in so far as evaluating the request.

June 03, 2012
Whoever thought this might be a good idea is completely insensitive to homeowners struggle in this economy.
June 07, 2012
George Harvey is absolutely right. County officials are being "completely insensitive" -- to say the very least -- to homeowners struggling to survive in this economy, while our friends and neighbors are losing their homes all around us.

I hope other local Realtors® will let their voices be heard with San Miguel County officials, in no uncertain terms.

What's more, County officials' long standing policy of blocking vacation rentals in private homes prevents tourism by families using VRBO® and other similar websites to visit Telluride, often for the first time.

This illegal and economically illiterate policy by San Miguel County officials costs every local business, every local service provider, every restaurant, every shop, everyone here who depends, directly or indirectly, on tourism for a living.

Who thought of this? Elaine Fischer, for starters, who lost this same argument while Mayor of Telluride in "the Telluride case" -- in 1998, at the appellate court, and again, in June of 2000, at the Colorado Supreme Court. The state rent control statute, CRS § 38-12-301, prohibits local governments from interfering in landlord/tenant relations in private homes. In total denial, Ms. Fischer defied this law while Mayor of Telluride, and continues to do so as a County Commissioner.

And as a Commissioner, she's been blindly supported over the years in her misguided efforts to outlaw vacation rentals by both Art Goodtimes and Joan May, regardless of any of their public comments to the contrary. What they DO, not what they SAY, is what matters. It's obvious the Commissioners believe that they're above the law -- even when it's handed down directly to Telluride's local government by the Colorado Supreme Court.

For more on San Miguel County's plan to amend the Land Use Code to prohibit all vacation rentals in every residence in San Miguel County, go to
June 03, 2012
Yep, the continuation of the liberal progressive state continues...where the government tells you how to carry your food from the grocery store, what light bulbs to use (mercury!), and now, apparently, no more big gulps in New York city..

The people in government, most of them, are just glad to be paid so well for so little work...look at snow plowing in Town during a heavy snow storm...Town is plowed last, after the snow has been pushed to the street by passing cars and is now ice, yet the budget line item is incredible...

Us in the private sector work hard and make wages or better but the we have state, local, social, medicare, federal taxes taken straight from our we head to the market to get some grub we are assaulted with further taxation-the local, county and state sales tax...if we buy a cigarette or a bottle of alcohol there is an excise tax incorporated into its price...nevertheless, we purchase what we can afford and either juggle it to the car, or stuff it into some filthy re-usable shopping bag...

We get home to whatever we can afford and we find our mail..on our electric, gas and cell phone bills we pay excise and sales and all kinds of creepily named taxes...moving forward into the kitchen we know that we will soon need to sublet our home, live in our car, to make ends meet..

but we can't..the government after having broken us for all they can, says we can not use our only remaining asset to save ourself, we can not rent a room out.

Nope. Guys like Goodtimes who have never worked in the private sector, living off the public pot of gold for so long, cant see this..all they see is the next intragovernmental junket in someplace warm or beautiful, we are fodder for these types..

Depressed, we notice something laying on the envelope, we pick it up and find it is property tax bill which is overdue and the county has liened our is up for sale in 90 days...

Who can debate me on this presentation? The conduct of government has grown far from its roots at our founding..a limited government; a constitutionally limited republic of states and we are choking under its weight.