Steamboat Springs After discussion and debate that has stretched out over a year, Steamboat Springs City Council will hear a recommendation Tuesday night that it leave its regulations governing bed and breakfast lodgings unchanged.
Planning Director Wendie Schulenburg and City Planner Tracey Hughes are expected to tell City Council that current city rules governing bed and breakfasts are more than adequate. The city began re-examining its bed and breakfast policies in late 1998, after hearing extensive public comment from neighbors of the Moving Mountains Chalet on Burgess Creek Road.
Tuesday night's work session is not a public hearing, and public comment is not assured. However, City Council, at its discretion, may take a limited number of comments from the public.
Planning staff is making its recommendation after reviewing bed-and-breakfast regulations in six other mountain towns.
Based on their research, planners believe current city rules are very close to those in similar communities and allow existing bed and breakfasts to continue operating while offering sufficient city review for any new applications.
Bed-and-breakfast inns, for much of 1999, were wrapped up in an ongoing controversy that dominated many public hearings throughout the year. For much of that time, the inns were joined in the public debate over the the nightly rental of single-family homes to the vacation market.
The planning department conducted a city-wide survey to determine how residents felt about the two issues and found that in every district or neighborhood within the city, people were evenly split on the issue.
However, the city was able to determine that the strongest public sentiment was attached to the nightly rentals, and not to the bed and breakfasts. City Council separated the two issues for purposes of future discussion.
Among the communities surveyed by the planning department were Telluride; Aspen; Breckenridge; Ketchum, Idaho; South Lake Tahoe, Calif.; and Mammoth Lakes, Calif.
If time permits during the work session, City Council may undertake a general discussion of its current take on nightly rental of single-family homes.
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