COLORADO SPRINGS — City council in Colorado Springs decided on an ordinance for short term rentals Thursday after hours of debate and several people spoke for and against further action.
The ordinance passed by the council adds on to its existing regulations around short term rentals. The new regulations:
- Prohibit new non-owner occupied short term rentals in specifically zoned single-family neighborhoods
- Prohibit more than one non-owner occupied short term rentals within 500 feet outside of those single-family neighborhoods.
The city defined “owner-occupied” as someone living at the residence at least 185 days out of the year.
“Why do we have to wait in Colorado Springs to see if there is a problem that we have to deal with now, rather than taking data from other jurisdictions to take the problem proactively so it doesn’t emerge?” said city councilor David Geislinger, who supported the changes.
The 188 licensed short-term rentals the city is aware of that are located in single-family zoned neighborhoods will be allowed to stay as long as they don’t let their permit expire.
The city has hired investigators, paid for by short term rental fees, fines, and taxes, to track down unlicensed operators that will have to pay back taxes.
“We will require you to pay back taxes.” said council president Richard Skorman, “It’s not fair to have some people to pay their taxes rather than others. We also want to have people to have licenses so we can regulate those.”
The ordinance will need to pass a second reading by the council in order to become official. City staff expects it to be in place by the end of 2019.