Fort Collins: City Will Regulate Short Term Rentals

The Fort Collins City Council discussed short-term rentals (STRs) again on January 10th and directed staff to prepare a draft ordinance for public review. The draft has been scheduled for discussion at a regular meeting on March 7.

Staff estimates there are currently approximately 300 short-term rental units in the City, which means less than .44 percent of housing units are used as STRs. Nevertheless, there is a contingent of vocal homeowners who would prefer to limit or even prohibit STRs which they see as a threat to their quality of life. They could not comment at the latest meeting because it was a work session, but they were there – in force.

The City has relented on some of the requirements it originally proposed. For example, last year staff advocated for a limit of one STR per block face in certain zones. Nonetheless, the Fort Collins Board of REALTORS® remains concerned by the City’s desire to limit non-primary STRs to zones that allow other types of lodging (B&Bs, hotels, and motels). FCBR supports basic tax collection and compliance but does not support inspections or unit limitations. FCBR argues there is little need to limit the number of STRs operating in primary residences and suggests the proposal to limit one person or entity from having more than 3 non-primary licenses is too rigid.

But at the Jan. 10th meeting Bob Overbeck and Ross Cunniff were clearly concerned about investors who might buy homes to rent them out, thus impacting the City’s housing supply. Cunniff said, if someone wants to profit from a home, they can always sell it. Bob Overbeck warned STRs could “cripple the housing community.” The details of the proposal will require further discussion prior to ordinance adoption and undoubtedly homeowners who oppose STRs will show up in force to comment at the March meeting.

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