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On October 5, the Salida City Council voted to approve Ordinance 2021-15 with amendments discussed by both the council and planning commission. This ordinance made amendments to chapter 6 and 16 of the Salida municipal code concerning short-term rentals. As Salida is currently facing a housing shortage, this ordinance is viewed as a step to help with this crisis.

According to the city, STR units have been shown in various studies (and via anecdotal evidence locally) to have direct and indirect impacts on both the availability of long-term housing as well as housing affordability. These impacts generally arise when existing units are converted from long-term rentals (or owner-occupied homes) to STRs, as well as when both new and existing units are sold at prices considerably higher than they would have been sold without the additional STR revenue potential. The financial incentive to build new units for short-term rentals, specifically, may also preclude the development of future long-term housing stock.

A map outlining non residential areas that are included in this ordinance. Image courtesy of the City of Salida.

The city also acknowledged that STRs are not the sole reason for the recent depletion of existing long-term housing stock. Sales of homes to those who work remotely, retirees, or vacation homeowners, among other factors, have also contributed to the reduction.

This was the final reading and public hearing on the ordinance where members of the public spoke both for and against the ordinance. Many encouraged the council to pause on the ordinance, while others claimed it would not make a significant dent in the housing shortage.

After the public hearing, council discussed the suggestions made by planning and zoning as well as some of their own ideas. They approved the ordinance with city staff and planning commission comments.

Changes to Chapter 6 of the ordinance:

  • Refinement of the definition and requirements of and STR license “Applicant”
  • Clarification of application procedures and eligibility requirements
  • Proof of Chaffee County residency required for new licenses (out-of-County residents with existing licenses able to renew)
  • Potential exceptions for current owners and executed contracts for existing or new units permitted prior to 7/20/2021, provided license applications are filed on or before 6/1/2022
  • Planning Commission recommended establishing a limit of one STR license per individual, including the controlling individual of an LLC, which was approved by the city council. This does not include individuals who already have multiple licenses.
  • Establishment of caps on the number of STR licenses permitted in four separate non-residential areas throughout the city.

    Council members wore masks to “lead by example.” Image taken during August 4 regular meeting.

    • C-2/Historic Downtown: 99 Total or 70 percent of existing units (currently 70 STRs) The Planning Commission was split as to keeping the cap as is or to raise or eliminate any cap for this area. City council voted to approve this cap.
    • Highway 291 Corridor: 100 Total or 35 percent of existing units (currently 48 STRs) Planning Commission recommended lowering the cap on this area, due to its primarily residential nature. City council voted to lower it to 71 total or 25 percent of existing units.
    • Industrial Corridor: 16 Total or 35 percent of existing units (currently 8 STRs)
    • Highway 50 Corridor: 46 Total or 70 percent of existing units (currently 4 STRs)

Planning Commission recommended an exception to such area caps, similar to that for the residency requirement and per Council discretion, based upon the provision of substantial Inclusionary Housing units. City staff have been directed to fine tune the language for council to approve in the future.

“That works for now and that will bring us forward,” explained Mayor P.T. Wood in regard to the exception to these caps.

Changes to Chapter 16 of the ordinance:

  • Refinement of the definition and review procedures for “Bed and breakfast inn”
  • Clarification of review procedures for STRs in RMU, C-2, and C-1 zones
  • Clarification of posting requirements in STR units
  • Language regarding area-specific non-residential caps and waitlist information
  • Creation of new parking standards for STRs
  • Establishment of a cap on the number of STR licenses permitted in any new development (max. 50 percent for more than two units on the same lot)

Council decided that the clause about residency needed more attention and it was removed from the ordinance so staff could revise the clause and bring it back to the council at another time.

Also on the agenda was ordinance 2021-16 which extends a temporary moratorium on the submission, acceptance, processing, and approval of any application for a short-term rental license and declaring an emergency. Council voted to approve this ordinance which was extended until November 8.

To watch the full meeting, click here.