STR owners at Ski Time Square Condos will get exemption to city's parking requirements
Short-term rental owners at Ski Time Square Condominiums can continue renting their units despite not fulfilling Steamboat’s parking requirements after Council temporarily waived those requirements on Tuesday.
The owners have a 98-year lease for 60 parking spaces in an adjacent parking structure, but that structure was condemned by Routt County Building Official Todd Carr in October.
Owners and their guests have been without onsite parking since, though they had an agreement with the city to park at Emerald Park over the winter and used a shuttle to get back and forth. That agreement won’t be a solution through the summer though, as Emerald Park needs the parking.
In passing the first reading of the ordinance, council added a provision that owners need to state in their advertisements for their units that there is no onsite parking. The ordinance will need to be approved on second reading as well.
But as the deadline to have their STRs licensed approaches on Sunday, Planning Director Rebecca Bessey said the units do not meet the parking requirements, which would mean they are not able to obtain a license. Rather than deny the applications, Bessey said they have been kept open to allow council the opportunity to weigh in.
“Rather than just stary denying applications, just knowing that you would likely be inundated with a lot of public comment and concern and question, we have just left all of those license applications pending,” Bessey said.
There have been 32 STR license applications from owners in ski time condos, and the city’s code requires one space per unit. Even if owners do secure offsite parking for guests, Bessey said that still wouldn’t meet the city’s code. Without an exemption for these properties, Bessey said she didn’t feel staff could issue licenses.
Council member Heather Sloop said she wanted to ensure that owners included information about parking and the lack thereof in their STR advertisements so that guests knew what to expect before they arrive.
“And it is not on-street parking either,” Sloop said. “It’s not like, ‘Hey, by the way, you can just park on the street and move your car every two hours.”
Sloop said she also wanted to revisit the waiver in a year, but Council member Gail Garey wanted to do it sooner, in 60 days. Garey said she worried that locals that live there and businesses in the area would loose out on the on street parking because while it wouldn’t be allowed, it is hard to enforce.
Council member Michael Buccino said he was more on the one or two year timeframe for when council would revisit the ordinance. Bessey said logistically one year would work well because that is the term for the STR license.
“My motive for wanting to make this one to two years is this is a terrible situation, as you said, and reducing these homeowners’ ability to make an income or revenue or whatever it is, it’s not going to help solve the situation in my mind,” said Council member Dakotah McGinlay. “This will hopefully help them keep going and finding a solution.”
Council unanimously approved the ordinance on first reading, with the waiver extending one year and noting that street parking wouldn’t be allowed. City staff said they would work on the language council added about telling guests there is no onsite parking in advertisements when it is brought back for second reading next week.