Alamosa turns back short-term rental ordinance for now
City Council decides proposed regulation
needs more work
THE idea of a short-term rental ordinance in the city of Alamosa will need more time to gel after the city council on Wednesday rejected a proposal but asked city staff to keep working on the idea of regulating Airbnb and Vrbo rentals.
The city council plans to consider a moratorium on additional short-term rentals when it meets Dec. 15, and then will receive another proposal for an ordinance in 2022.
“I think we need to tweak it for sure,” said City Councilman Michael Carson. He and other city council members said a buffer zone, which was part of the proposal, was an ordinance killer and asked city staff to look for other ways to restrict the number of short-term rentals in a particular neighborhood without a buffer.
“This is trying to find a way to solve a problem,” said Mayor Ty Coleman. He said Alamosa is growing, has a housing shortage, and the city council needs to figure out how to address the growing popularity of Airbnb and Vrbo rentals and protect its housing stock from being sucked up by short-term rentals.
One question remained at the end: Did the proposal spark an increase in investors rushing to purchase houses in Alamosa to convert to a short-term rental, thus causing more of a housing crunch than when the proposal first came to light in October? That question came up after the city reported 35 short-term rentals at Wednesday’s public hearing compared to 24 at the end of October. The other explanation for the increase could be existing short-term rental owners who registered with the city since the proposal was publicized.
“We don’t know the background on all of them, but we don’t think it’s all new purchases,” said City Manager Heather Brooks.
The city’s intention has been to put in place an ordinance to address the number of short-term rentals available in Alamosa. Other communities in the San Luis Valley have placed restrictions on short-term rentals.
With the city council turning down the first proposal and pushing against a buffer zone as a way to control the number of short-term rentals in Alamosa, City Manager Heather Brooks and Director of Development Services Rachel Baird will do more work and come back for another try.
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