Lakewood City Council discusses draft short-term rental ordinance

Andrew Fraieli
afraieli@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 9/19/22

The Lakewood City Council discussed a draft ordinance allowing short-term rentals in the city on Sept. 12.

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Lakewood City Council discusses draft short-term rental ordinance

Posted

The Lakewood City Council discussed a draft ordinance allowing short-term rentals in the city on Sept. 12.

Currently, renting for less than 29 days, or “short-term,” is illegal in the city. The ordinance, if approved, would allow this type of renting in Lakewood, common with services like AirBnB, with some limitations aimed at dissuading investors from buying up properties in the city.

Some of these limitations and concerns presented by the commissioners were capping total short-term rental time to 180 days in a year, requiring the property owner to keep the rented housing as their primary residence and repercussions from a too low nuisance call limit that might revoke an STR license.

Most limitations were discussed in the context of limiting investor’s abilities, but some commissioners disagreed with the necessity of some.

“I think we are able to strike a balance between keeping the character of our neighborhood, and ensuring AirBnB does not become a developer gold mine,” said Commissioner Rebekah Stewart, who called the 180 day limit “overly onerous.” 

Multiple commissioners were in favor of striking the primary residence requirement as well, including Rich Oliver and Wendi Storm. Charley Able suggested changing the requirement to the property owner having to be on site, rather than be the primary residence, to not directly discriminate against investors.

According to City Commissioner Sharon Vincent, online public comments to the city included concerns about the 180 day limiting possible income for some who need it. Others were against the primary residence requirement, and a minority disagreed with passing the ordinance at all.

“We do have some community members that are concerned we will lose the quality of our neighborhoods to investors coming,” said Commissioner Jeslin Sharezaei. Only six residents spoke at the public comment for the study session, but each one supported the ordinance.

Lakewood Economic Development Director Robert Smith specified that the STRs would be a form of lodging license, so would have similar forms of code enforcement. Some other regulations that are expected to be included in these licenses are fees for the license, which haven’t been decided yet; enforcement provisions that may lead to revocation, suspension or nonrenewal; property safety inspections; a parking plan; and community members within 250 feet of the STR property line must be notified of an application for the license.

Making plans for a future workshop on the ordinance, the commissioners came to a consensus to continue discussing the primary residence requirement, strike the 180-day limitation, and to further consider variations on the ordinance such as separate licenses for primary residence or secondary, and an on-site property owner rather than primary residence requirement.

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