Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Steamboat Springs We have a problem. Under current vacation home rental permitting rules, your neighbor(s) could obtain a "stealth" VHR permit without your knowledge, and open a "mini-hotel," with a commercial kitchen, housekeeping, ski rental, shuttle, massage, hot tub, and allowing special events, with very little review, expense, and no public hearings whatsoever.
This has happened to us at Ridge Road and numerous other neighborhood zoned residential. Your city government has allowed and encouraged this to happen and recently voted to allow new VHR permits to be issued, even after a 90-day suspension brought about by public outcry resulted in several City Council meetings devoted to this issue.
Incredibly, Karen Post, a City Council member who voted to allow VHR permitting, when asked why she did so, said, "I spoke with a gentleman that was anxious to do a Mini Hotel in Steamboat and was concerned that he could not get a VHR permit. It seemed like a real opportunity and the moratorium if extended would delay this happening.
Is not a function of city government to preserve and protect its citizens from unwanted commercial intrusions into residential neighborhoods and to respect the zoning regulations it created for this purpose?
Paul Strong, another council member, said, "It seems that we really do not have an emergency and have concerns that this extension would hurt the VHR people that wanted to get permits." Apparently, Paul thinks the risk of some individuals making money outweighs protecting our neighborhoods and the very character of Steamboat Springs.
The Council appears to believe, as stated by its president, Susan Dellinger, "We really do not have an emergency, and a small group of people are making a big thing out of this."
Please, e-mail, write, phone or otherwise communicate with the Council to let them know that you care about your neighborhood and its residential zoning and do consider the VHR portal a dangerous threat.
To e-mail the City Council ... www.steamboatsprings.net then go to City Council heading and click on that and you will find a section where you can send an e-mail that will then go to all the City Council members.
Thank you for protecting our right to the quiet enjoyment of our residential neighborhoods!
Richard B. Berkley