News Flash

Summit County Government

Posted on: March 22, 2019

County Launches Short-Term Vacation Rental Program

Homes in Summit Cove

STR permitting and complaint management system is now live for properties in unincorporated Summit County

Contact: Danelle Hood, Planning Technician: 970-668-4185, 

SUMMIT COUNTY – Summit County has launched a new online permitting system for short-term vacation rental properties in unincorporated Summit County, together with a complaint hotline available 24/7 to assist community members with resolving any issues associated with such properties. 

After a year-long public planning process, the Summit County Board of Commissioners adopted short-term vacation rental (STR) regulations for unincorporated Summit County on Dec. 18, 2018. The regulations are intended to ensure compliance with basic requirements for responsible ownership and operation of an STR property, including: 

  • Protecting guest safety by verifying compliance with applicable health and life-safety standards 
  • Regulating maximum occupancy, parking and trash disposal to mitigate neighborhood impacts and preserve quality of life in residential areas
  • Verifying collection and remittance of applicable taxes for all STR units
  • Obtaining accurate contact information for each property’s managing agent, and creating an effective complaint management system for community members to report and resolve STR issues. 

Summit County, like many communities across the country, has seen tremendous growth in commercial lodging activity taking place in residential neighborhoods because of online platforms like Airbnb and VRBO.

“These new regulations will help us better manage the impacts on our community,” Commissioner Karn Stiegelmeier said. “Issues like trash, parking and noise have been getting out of hand, and we needed to put a system in place to protect the quality of life in our neighborhoods.”

Since the new regulations were adopted in December 2018, Summit County staff has been working to develop a fair and streamlined permitting process for STR owners and managers. The online permit application, which has been under development for the past few months, is now available at www.summitcountyco.gov/STR.

Any residential property within the unincorporated county that is rented for periods of less than 30 consecutive dates is required to obtain an STR permit. The County is now accepting permit applications for existing STR properties; the deadline to submit an application is June 1 to ensure compliance by June 30. Beginning June 30, any STR operating without a permit will be considered in violation of the Summit County Code. All STR permits issued in 2019 will be valid through Sept. 30, 2020, with annual renewal required by Sept. 30 of each year. Permit applications for new STR properties will be accepted on an ongoing basis.

The initial fee for a short-term rental permit in unincorporated Summit County is $150 per unit, and the annual permit renewal fee is $75. Bulk applications for six or more units in the same building, using the same parking and waste disposal plan and the same responsible agent for all units, may use the Bulk STR Permit Application, which qualifies for a 20% discount.

“Before applying for a permit, it’s important for all STR owners to verify whether their STR property is located within town limits or within unincorporated Summit County, as each jurisdiction has its own STR regulations and applicable taxes,” said Danelle Hood, Summit County's STR planning technician. "For properties located within town limits, an STR permit from Summit County is not needed. In-town properties require an STR license from the applicable town."

All STR owners are required to remit all applicable taxes. STR owners must have a valid State of Colorado sales tax license number in order to submit a complete STR permit application.

Now that the Summit County STR permitting system is live, the complaint management system is also available 24/7 to assist with resolving STR complaints. This system has been set up to handle non-emergency issues concerning short-term rental (STR) properties, such as noise, parking violations, occupancy-limit violations, pet issues, feeding wildlife, trash issues or other code violations. Complaints can be submitted online at www.SummitCountyCO.gov/STR or by calling the STR Helper Hotline at 970-368-2044. 

When someone files a complaint, STR Helper will contact the responsible agent listed for the specified property. The responsible agent will then have 60 minutes to respond to the issue and inform STR Helper of the planned resolution. If a responsible agent fails to respond to complaints within the required timeframe and/or complaints are unresolved, community members may file a formal complaint with the County via email to STR@SummitCountyCO.gov

While the Summit County STR regulation program is in the implementation phase, between now and the June 1 application deadline, contact information for each STR property will be added into the system as permit applications are submitted. The STR Helper Hotline will field complaints and direct them to responsible agents whose contact information is in the system. Even if a permit application has not yet been submitted for a given property, all complaints will be logged and linked to the subject property, so any reported issues will be evaluated by County staff during the permit review process and discussed with the applicant.

“In addition to the immediate benefit of helping to resolve STR issues, the STR permitting and complaint management system will also help us gather more information on STR activity in the unincorporated areas of the county and better understand the effects of the STR industry on the community,” Hood said. “This information will help to identify any necessary revisions to the regulations over time, as we work to address the needs of the local community.” 

For more information on the STR permit application process, STR regulations, applicable taxes and STR complaint submissions, visit www.SummitCountyCO.gov/STR.



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