COLORADO SPRINGS – A proposed ordinance regarding short-term rentals has some Airbnb hosts concerned about the potential impacts it could have on their businesses.
The proposal was voted down by the Colorado Springs Planning Commission, but will soon be discussed by Colorado Springs City Council.
If passed, the ordinance would require all short-term rental owners to have a business license or permit which means they would pay sales taxes and the visitor’s tax. Another addition would be creating a registry so hosts can be contacted if there’s an issue.
Several hosts said they are on board with this, but it’s other regulations that have them worried about the future of their businesses.
“A lot of this ordinance is a gray area,” said Airbnb host Alicja Dabrowski who wants some clarifications.
“When I’m telling my guests what’s going on here they are very concerned…houses like mine that have multiple listings in the house can be limited based on zoning which I don’t quite understand…I will be able to only list one of the rooms from the four that I have…that means I won’t be able to host a bigger family.”
She also may not be able to serve military members who often need temporary housing. The potential for limited rooms would be a huge hit to her finances.
“This is additional income for most of the hosts.”
Fellow Airbnb host Elliott Orsillo said, “There are some aspects of the ordinance that I think are a little bit overreaching…limiting the ability to use your house for weddings or large gatherings, there’s some things in there that seem unnecessary in my opinion.”
Even with these issues, Orsillo said he’d be fine if the ordinance passed as is. However, he is asking the city council for some considerations. He wants his private property rights to be maintained and asks that city council not overreach and “try to enforce something that’s not even a problem.”
When it comes to the zoning issue, Jill Gaebler, Colorado Springs City Council president pro-tem, said, “It depends on the zone. It depends on how the property is laid out and that of course is also something that we could discuss when it comes to council.”
Another topic that will most likely be discussed are disturbances in some neighborhoods where rental properties are located.
Gaebler said some people have complained about “noise, a lot of people, strangers, things like that.”
She said the complaints have been minimal, but even so, vacation rentals are still a huge balancing act for the city.
Gaebler said, “The neighborhoods, the neighbors, the owners, they are all very important voices.”
Hosts have also been concerned that they’ll be required to live on the properties they rent out. Gaebler said this was never part of the proposed ordinance. It was only a recommendation from the planning commission.
The ordinance will go before council for the first time on September 24. A vote is expected to come in October. News 5 will keep you updated.
To read the ordinance in full CLICK HERE.