Mapleton planning committee recommends approval of short-term rentals to city council
On Thursday, the Mapleton planning committee discussed potentially allowing short-term rentals into the city. The topic has previously been a highly debated point of discussion between city officials and residents at past public meetings.
Mapleton City Code section 18.84.425, if passed by the City Council, would allow STRs, where guests stay for 30 days or less, back into the city. Committee member Jake Lake, after much discussion recommended the approval of short-term rentals with newly-agreed-upon conditions.
Residents opposed to short-term rentals expressed concerns that these residences would detract from the character of the neighborhoods and city. They also argued that it could be difficult to monitor and enforce policies, causing an increased need for law enforcement and that moderate incoming housing options would be reduced if accessory dwelling units, a secondary housing unit on a single-family residential lot, were converted into short-term rentals.
Residents supporting STRs repeatedly defended the rights of property owners to use their property how they see fit. Short-term rentals are often a primary or supplemental source of income for homeowners.
Bringing short term rentals back would also allow those who travel to Mapleton for an extended period of time a place to stay. Currently, there are no hotels or motels within the city limits, though there are vacation rentals available online.
Supporters also argued that taxes on STRs would be an additional source of revenue for the city. It is also easier to ensure short-term rentals are well-maintained than long-term rentals, as cleaning services come after each party’s stay.
Several proposed restrictions were discussed to ensure that guests do not disturb permanent residents. Committee members debated whether rentals must be attached to the owner’s home, or if they could be separate but with homeowners on-call in case of a public disturbance caused by guests.
A limit of 90-120 days rented per year was proposed for non-owner occupied rental homes, as well as a maximum occupancy of 2 people per bedroom and 12 people per unit.
“I’m kind for the 120 days,” resident Debbie Skinner said during the meeting’s public hearing. “We drive a little over eight hours to get here so we usually stay about a week, we can’t just be here on a weekend and turn around and go back. We want to be able to see the sights and we contribute to the economy when we come. I also think that the two per bedroom is a little bit tight. You know I don’t think that it allots for any small grandchildren under five, who usually stay in bunk bed rooms.”