Salt Lake County Commissioners Wednesday refused to prohibit the short-term rental of canyon homes - despite complaints of noise, rowdiness and parking problems caused by ski vacationers who invade some neighborhoods each winter.
Instead, commissioners sought a compromise between neighborhood residents and rental-property owners by recommending that a citizens council representing both sides be formed to handle complaints.Commissioners heard two hours of public comment on a proposed amendment to the county zoning ordinance that would have prohibited rental of single-family or duplex dwellings in most residential zones for periods of less than 30 days.
Because high-density residential zones were not included in the proposal, most condominiums would not have been affected.
Residents who spoke in support of the amendment said loud parties, parking problems, poorly maintained rental units and the insecurity of having strangers live next door destroyed the quality of life in their neighborhoods.
"Tourist housing in residential zones is inappropriate and prohibited by ordinance," said Marsha Calder, 7858 Honeycomb Circle. "We just want to live quietly in a residential area."
But rental property owners and realtors claim the proposed amendment would reduce their incomes, cause them to lose their homes and discourage tourism.
Gov. Norm Bangerter also sent a letter to commissioners asking them to defeat the proposal.
"I'm sure Colorado would welcome these skiers with the kind of rental accommodations they want," said opponent Ann Timson.
After hearing the comments, the commissioner remanded the issue to the county Planning Commission, requesting that body and the planning staff to come up with an amendment establishing the citizens council.
"We're dealing with a pretty intense commercial use in a residential area," said Commission Chairman Bart Barker. "In some areas that needs to be prohibited. In other areas, it may not be a conflicting use."
By requiring property owners to get business licenses and comply with specific conditions placed on the rentals of their units, the county would retain enforcement ability, Barker said.