Steamboat Springs Short-Term Rental FAQs: What to Know About Registration, Zoning & Rules

What to Know About Short-Term Rentals in Steamboat Springs

Navigating short-term rental regulations in Steamboat Springs is crucial for those looking to operate within the city. Understanding the nuances of registration, licensing, and zoning restrictions is the easiest way to enjoy the perks of owning a profitable property. Whether you're a prospective host or an existing operator, the intricacies of these guidelines can significantly impact your rental venture's viability and sustainability. What to get the most out of your STR? Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions.

5 Key Takeaways

  • Registration process based on rental type, duration, and location.
  • Different types of STR licenses are available in Steamboat Springs.
  • Zoning restrictions in green, yellow, and red zones.
  • Specific permit limits in Zone B communities.
  • Additional regulations on occupancy, noise, and taxation.

How Do I Register to Operate a STR?

Types of Registration for Short-Term Rentals in Steamboat Springs

To register to operate a short-term rental in Steamboat Springs, CO, you must follow specific guidelines based on your rental type, duration, and location. All license applications must be submitted and approved before anyone can legally advertise or operate a short-term rental.

New STR Registration

If you want to operate a new short-term rental in Steamboat Springs, CO, the first step is to register for the required STR license.

Any rentals that did not receive a booking between June 15, 2021, and June 15, 2022, are considered new and must apply before hosting guests. Once the application process begins, gather all necessary documentation and information to complete the registration accurately. New rentals may only open in Zone A and select areas of Zone B. Zone A includes condos in Downtown Steamboat Springs along with many ski-in, ski-out homes.

Always keep an eye out for updates from the city regarding when the registration process will open to ensure you're compliant with the new regulations.

Legal, Nonconforming Registration

People who owned and operated rentals prior to the most recent regulation can continue doing so as long as they are granted legal, nonconforming status. They must submit the required documentation and proof of ownership to apply for legal nonconforming status as an existing short-term rental operator. This status allows the STR to continue operating, even if it doesn't comply with current zoning regulations.

Hosted STR License

A Hosted STR License is required for anyone renting out a single guestroom for short-term accommodations within their primary residence. This type of rental status includes separate structures that are within at least 400 square feet of the primary residence. Rental guests can only stay for 30 days or less and a primary resident must be also occupying the home at all times.

To register as a hosted STR operator, you must follow the city's guidelines and submit the necessary documentation. To operate your hosted short-term rental legally, you must comply with all city regulations. Failure to obtain the required license by the specified deadline could result in penalties or fines.

Temporary STR Permit

A temporary short-term rental permit allows people to rent out their primary residences temporarily and infrequently. To remain eligible, operators can only host guests twice a year. The combined instances must be fewer than 30 consecutive days. With proper licensing, temporary STRs may operate in all Steamboat neighborhooods.

What Are the Steamboat Springs Zoning Restrictions?

What Are the Zones for Short-Term Rentals in Steamboat Springs?

Steamboat Springs has categorized the city into three zones for short-term rental regulations:

  • Green zones allow unlimited units.
  • Yellow zones have specific limits.
  • Red zones prohibit new permits.

Zone A Communities

In Zone A communities, there are no restrictions on the number of short-term rental licenses issued. Operators in Zone A enjoy the flexibility of hosting unlimited short-term rental units without facing caps or limits on their properties. All licensing requirements and local rules still apply.

Communities in Zone A include:

  • Downtown Steamboat Springs: Those living in Downtown Steamboat know it's an amazing place to own a short-term rental. Unlike some resort towns that are primarily seasonal, Steamboat Springs attracts visitors year-round. Owning a short-term rental in the downtown area places guests close to these attractions, enhancing the appeal of the rental property.
  • Steamboat Springs Ski Resort Area: The resort attracts skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts from all over the globe, ensuring a consistent flow of visitors each winter. This demand extends into the summer months as well, with the area offering numerous outdoor activities such as mountain biking, hiking, and hot air ballooning, providing all-season demand for homes near Steamboat Ski Resort.

Zone B Communities

Zone B areas are allowed to host new STRs, but local caps and limits are enforced. These areas include the Sunlight Drive Area, Rolling Stone Ranch Golf Course Area, and some regions South of Walton Creek Road.

Zone B is further divided into Subzones, each with unique caps. Understanding these specific subzones and their limitations is crucial for property owners who want to navigate the regulations effectively.

  • Subzone B1: 5 Short-Term Rentals Allowed
  • Subzone B2: 20 Short-Term Rentals Allowed
  • Subzone B3: 18 Short-Term Rentals Allowed
  • Subzone B4: 17 Short-Term Rentals Allowed
  • Subzone B5: 12 Short-Term Rentals Allowed
  • Subzone B6: 10 Short-Term Rentals Allowed

Zone C

New short-term rental properties are prohibited in all areas with Zone C designation.

However, it's important to note that Hosted STRs and Temporary STRs aren't bound by Zone C's occupancy limits. Additionally, properties with valid Vacation Home Rental (VHR) permits, or those registered as legal nonconforming STRs are exempt from the constraints imposed in Zone C.

Understanding these zoning restrictions is crucial for short-term rental operators in Zone C to ensure compliance with Steamboat Springs regulations.

Rules That All Steamboat Vacation Rentals Must Follow

What Are the Rules for Short-Term Rentals in Steamboat Springs?
  • Each short-term rental license must be prominently displayed inside the licensed premises.
  • Occupancy for short-term rentals must not exceed one person per 150 square feet of net floor area. A minimum of 2 guests is permitted in all properties regardless of size, whereas a maximum of 16 guests is enforced in all properties regardless of size.
  • Outdoor activities hosted at short-term rentals cannot include more than twice the total number of rental guests allowed.
  • Parking requirement: 6 vehicles max overnight if not in a garage; a drivable parking surface must be provided in all seasons, parking cannot block public traffic or emergency vehicle accessibility.
  • Each short-term rental must be associated with a designated local responsible party. The licensee is required to notify the city of any changes to the contact details of the local responsible party.
  • The local responsible party must respond to complaints within an hour from 6 am to 10 pm and within 30 minutes from 10 pm to 6 am.
  • Along with the STR license, the owner must also display visibly within the unit: their 24-hour contact info, occupancy limits, parking limited, and local restrictions related to trash, camping/outdoor sleeping, RV & campers, and noise restrictions.

Invest with Success: Stay on Top of Regulations in Steamboat Springs

If you're looking to buy a short-term rental, make sure you follow the registration process and adhere to the zoning restrictions before purchasing property in Steamboat Springs. By staying compliant with the regulations in place, you can contribute to maintaining a balanced community and upholding the city's standards. Responsible operation is key to ensuring maximum benefit.

If you're looking for the best home in Steamboat Springs for you, contact The Steamboat Group at (970) 879-0879 to get in touch with local real estate agents who can help you find a Steamboat Springs home you'll fall in love with.

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