County steps up short-term rental code enforcement

The majority of Grand County’s code violations in the second quarter of 2018 were related to short-term rentals. Why? Because that’s the only part of the code that Grand County proactively enforces. The rest are enforced only when there are complaints. The county used a database called STR Helper to compare short-term rental listings with county-approved business licenses, and notified out-of-compliance rentals that they need to get a license.

At the July 18 meeting of the Grand County Council, Kaitlin Myers of the Community and Economic Development Office presented on code enforcement. There were 51 code violations in the second quarter, Myers said. Of those violations, 48 related to short-term rentals, three pertained to illegal RV camping, two were for construction without a permit and one was related to junk and debris (several violators had more than one code infraction).

Short-term rentals generally had trouble with business licenses, either expired licenses or not having gotten a license in the first place. Many did not know that they needed a business license, Myers said. There were also several short-term rentals that were in locations where they were not allowed, Myers said.

The county follows a process that includes multiple notification letters to those in violation of code. Most people who received letters came into compliance, Myers said, with the exception of two cases. One of those cases involved a short-term rental of an RV. The two cases were sent to the county attorney for litigation.

The county collected more than $10,000 in fees related to short-term rentals thanks to the enforcement efforts, Myers said.

“The increase in fees is definitely appreciated,” enjoined Council Member Evan Clapper.

Added Myers, “I’ve heard feedback from the community that people in the county are realizing that the county is starting to actually enforce the land use code … some people are starting to manage that themselves, which is really great.”

ByBy Rose Egelhoff

The Times-Independent