Nightly rentals prove touchy
Ryan Summerlin August 1, 2014
Bob Gross has lived in a residential neighborhood in Jeremy Ranch for nine years, but over the last 18 months he hasn’t been a happy camper.
He lives across the street from a home that offers nightly rentals, advertised online as being able to accommodate 17 people. Over the past year-and-a-half, he has wakened to noise and constant activity coming from the rental, aggravating him to no end. The driveway across the street is packed with vehicles, and cars line up and down the street when the rental is occupied, he said.
Gross has complained to county staff, but maintains that they tell him that Park City and its environs are resort communities, so the restriction of nightly rentals is accordingly lax. Gross said that he feels he and his neighbors have to be the "bad guys," and that enforcement is left to them.
Gross wants this to change, so he contacted Councilmember Claudia McMullin, and at County Council’s weekly meeting Wednesday at the Sheldon Richins Building the Council was given a presentation on nightly rentals by Pat Putt, the county’s community development director.
Nightly rentals, Putt said, are not regulated through zoning under the Snyderville Basin or the Eastern Summit County Development Codes. Park City, in contrast to Summit County, regulates its nightly rentals through zoning, he added.
A nightly rental may be operated anywhere in Summit County by a property owner or management company, provided they obtain a business license, Putt said. Nightly rentals in Summit County are currently regulated under the business license provisions of the county code, and are issued by the county clerk.
Minimum services, enforced by the Community Development Department, said Putt, include: snow removal allowing access to the rental, summer yard maintenance, structural maintenance, routine upkeep, trash collection which ensures that trash cans are not left at the curb for any period longer than 24 hours, housekeeping service, on-street parking, and no signs permitted for nightly rental uses.
The council discussion on the issue was spirited, and after the meeting Councilman David Ure said there was "definitely a lack of consensus." Because it was work session, the Council did not need to come up with a decision, though they hinted that this will be a topic that could prove controversial. The discussion touched on issues such as whether a resort community should restrict nightly rentals, the difficulty of enforcement, as well as how to balance residential home owners’ desires with those seeking income from rentals.
Councilwoman Kim Carson, who served as council chair due to chairman Chris Robinson’s absence, said she would "like to be proactive" on the issue. "I would like to see some options on different things we could do," she said.
In the end, Putt was asked by the Council to research the issue and come back at a future time with proposals on what Council could do regarding the regulation of nightly rentals.
There are currently 155 licensed nightly rentals in Summit County, though council members said there are likely many more that are unlicensed.