“What you don’t want is to have a town like this which has a great heart and soul right now and before you know it, nobody works here, lives here, or nobody who owns a business lives here… That’s the danger.”–Eric Mamula, Breckenridge Mayor.
Short-term rentals have created a housing crunch in many ski towns across North America. Breckenridge, the world-famous ski town, is starting to make adjustments to address this issue. CBS Colorado reports that the Breckenridge City Council unanimously approved changes to their short-term rental zoning and regulations on Tuesday. The city council will have another vote next week to officially confirm the change, which seems likely based on the prior vote.
The percentage of short-term rentals allowed will be based on how close they are to the ski resort. Zone 1, which is right next to Breckenridge Resort, could allow 90% of housing units to be short-term rentals. Zone 2 is the “Historic District”, which could allow 50% of the housing units to be STRs. Zone 3, which is on the outskirts of Breck, could be going from 30% to 10%. Those who already have short-term rentals will be allowed to keep their license, but they will have to pay an annual fee. Breckenridge currently has 2700 short-term rental licenses but had set the goal of reducing this number down to 2200 STRs in 2021.
Mayor Eric Mamula said the following about the changes:
“They are not the boogie man, but it is part of it…If we had stayed in that more traditional sense of ‘these units are vacation rentals, and these are long-term for employees.’ everything would probably be going on as it was. But when the pandemic hit, people were buying everything and converting it to vacation rentals. So we lost hundreds of units that were normally employee units to short-term rental or vacation rentals.”
Will this change Breckenridge’s housing crisis? I would say no based on it being a relatively minor change, but this is a step in the right direction.