Item 4 - Public Comment

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Online comments closed at 12:00 PM MDT 6/28/22.
I really hope that the commission can wrap up this STR business and move on to issues of affordable housing (both upper and lower case "a"). As someone who window shops on Zillow every day, it seems like home-ownership is still not in the cards.
June 28, 2022, 11:28 AM
Joshua Comden
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I have lived in Lakewood my whole life. I come from 2 generations of family that have lived and worked in Lakewood. We feel the proposed measures are too strict. Limiting rentals to 180 days doesn’t make sense. Where is the justification and reasoning behind this? Hotels and motels in Lakewood are allowed to operate under substantially less restrictions. As property owners we should be afforded rights. Frankly city council what business does the city have telling me who and when and how long I can rent my property out for? I find that appalling, but understand we live in a dynamic society. I feel that making people register through licensing and abide by certain requirements such as parking, quiet hours, etc makes sense and is completely reasonable. That’s where we feel the regulations should end. The limits to how many days you can rent doesn’t add up and should be eliminated from the regulation. The real truth is when you have less restrictions on short term rentals you only benefit the owners who live and invest in Lakewood. The tax revenue, increase in use of local small business sales, cleaning up areas of the city that could use some help, and overall allowing people the freedom to choose for themselves. The way things are going with the economy and cost of living we should all be wise and not shut off streams of revenue for our brothers and sisters we live with. I ask city council to give the power to the homeowners. Please council do the right thing and strongly consider reducing the overall regulations that are being proposed. Thank you.
June 27, 2022, 4:28 PM
Sean Gribbons
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OWNERSHIP AND RESIDENCE REQUIREMENT TO OBTAIN A LICENSE. We reiterate, the single family dwelling property offered MUST be an owner-occupied residential property. Proof is required showing the property being offered for short-term lodging is the primary residence. NO commercial operators should be permitted to obtain a license for a single family home. Absentee owners should NOT be allowed. Reasons: Oversite by owner-occupied properties helps ensure: 1. No illegal activities drug and sex trafficking occurs. 2. Guests don’t use these properties for large events that would typically use commercial establishments (e.g., weddings, receptions, private parties, etc.) and interfere with neighbors’ quiet enjoyment of their homes and neighborhood. 3. Neighbors have peace of mind that if there are problems that the owner is on-site to correct situations immediately; 4. There are fewer unnecessary complaint calls to the City for action against guests and owners. This saves on City labor. OCCUPANCY LIMITS IN SINGLE FAMILY HOMES TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR A LICENSE. Occupancy limits should be tied to the number of bedrooms, emergency egress, the parking rules, and various other generally accepted guidelines. 1. Many states and cities use the 2+1 rule. Each bedroom can hold two people plus one additional occupant. Ex. Using this guideline, a two-bedroom house could hold five people total. 2. Other occupancy codes limit the number of occupants based on the square footage on the entire unit. 3. Some further break this down to the square footage of each bedroom or habitable area, or by age groups (i.e. under 1 year old is not considered an occupant in these calculations). Ex. The relevant area requirements under the 2015 IPMC is that bedrooms should have a minimum of 50 sq. ft. additional per occupant with a minimum of 70 sq. ft. for one occupant. 4. Some occupancy codes or ordinances also allow for a living room / basement to be used as a sleeping area. Ex. Under the IMPC, such an area should be 120 sq. ft. minimum for up to 5 occupants, and 150 sq. ft. minimum for 6 or more occupants. 5. The number of people allowed to stay per night is no more than 2 times the number of sleeping rooms offered for such lodging 6. The number of people allowed to stay per night is no more than for which the owner can accommodate parking. HOA APPROVAL EVIDENCE SHOULD BE SUBMITTED WITH APPLICATION OR ELSE NOT ELIGIBLE. The draft ordinance doesn’t CLEARLY mention that applicable HOAs' approvals are needed before licensure. HOA covenants are more restrictive than city codes and generally prevail under Colorado law. If HOAs prohibit, then the owner cannot license. Attestation of HOA approval should be submitted with the licensing application. NOT including this aspect affects the licensing and revocation procedure as well as affecting violations reported by HOAs to the city post-license issue. Avoid revocation after the fact. FHA MORTGAGED HOMES ARE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR “STR” LICENSURE Have the owner attest s/he doesn’t have and FHA mortgage. If the property is mortgaged using an FHA loan, the ordinance should state the property can’t be used in this manner. FHA prohibits using property for transient living. Use of the home to be purchased with an FHA loan for hotel/transient purposes is forbidden. In one section of the rules, hotel/transient/intermittent occupancy uses are specifically referenced in a list of unapproved purposes for an FHA loan: “FHA will not insure Single Family Mortgages secured by: bed and breakfasts, other transient housing, vacation homes (not an inclusive list). [Form HUD-92561 (2/2020), ref HUD Handbook 4000.1] “…the Borrower covenants and agrees that so long as any of the housing identified in the caption hereof or any part thereof is subject to a mortgage insured under the provisions of the National Housing Act, the Borrower, his/her successors and assigns, will not rent, offer to rent, permit the rental or permit the offering for rental of such housing or any part thereof for transient or hotel purposes. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Section 1746, I certify under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. Warning: Anyone who knowingly submits a false claim, or makes false statements is subject to criminal and civil penalties, including confinement for up to 5 years, fines and civil penalties. (18 U.S.C. §§ 287,1001, and 31 U.S.C. § 3729).”
June 27, 2022, 12:43 PM
laurie e. graves
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While these latest draft ordinances have come a long way from the previous ones - there are still some troubling aspects as written. As the costs of owning a home and basic living in Lakewood continue to increase, placing unnecessary burdens on residents through an ordinance such as this will force people out of their homes. An arbitrary 180-day limit for STRs doesn't make sense in a primary residence - occupied or not. If it is a primary residence then why is this necessary? A 180-day limit makes sense in destination/resort/mountain towns where investors gobble up the supply - this simply isn't what's happening in Lakewood. I have to imagine a vast majority of STR hosts in Lakewood rely on this income to help pay for the "extras" - home improvements, kids sports, nice food, or other industries Lakewood really needs to step up and support. Why would the City also reduce potential revenue through taxes - - which, by the way, are currently collected despite the lack of an ordinance!!! (why isn't this tax money being used to cover the fees and administrative duties for legitimizing STRS. Instead we are being charged again when we apply for permits?!?) Requiring commercial liability insurance is not necessary when many home owner insurance providers have riders or endorsements for this type of home-share arrangement. This becomes an unnecessary expense in addition to whatever fees, inspections, taxes, notifications, etc. that are not thoroughly spelled out in this ordinance that can burden the people trying to make Lakewood their home. This is all money that could be reinvested into the community, economy, and community improvements that the Council is always talking about rather that going into the administrative bureaucracy that doesn't really help anyone.
June 27, 2022, 8:24 AM
Josh Kleinman
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Dear Council Members, I’m requesting the council amend the requirements of the short-term rental regulations accordingly: Remove: • Primary residency • 180-day rental limit Add: • Only one short-term rental allowed per Lakewood resident (as established by primary residency) • No limit on the number of days property is rented These changes do not conflict with the council’s stated goals of protecting the ‘health, safety and welfare of all persons and properties’, but they would vastly improve a critical element of the City’s stated charter to ‘promote the prosperity’ of its inhabitants. I own a single-family rental property on the same block as my primary residence and would like the freedom to rent it on a short-term basis. Because my rental is in my neighborhood, I have a strong vested interest in ensuring the rental does not pose a nuisance to my neighbors and provides the best possible rental experience for my guests. Thank you for your consideration!
June 26, 2022, 9:50 AM
Kevin Barker
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My name is Jessica Columbus and I am employed by an Airbnb owner. I am commenting to show my support for allowing investor owned Airbnb to operate in Lakewood. I rely on this income opportunity to support my two children on my own. It would be a devastating loss for me to look this opportunity. I’d like to add that I not only work in Lakewood but I also purchase all of my supplies in Lakewood as well as a least one meal a day from a local restaurant. I also suggest all Lakewood local spots to arriving guests to meet any need that should arise. Please continue to allow Airbnb to operate as it is currently. Thank you.
June 20, 2022, 10:57 AM
Jessica Columbus
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In my opinion these drafts, as written, are far too stringent and over regulated. As I listened to discussions regarding the Safe Parking Initiative, I heard words such as burdensome, redundant, evidence-based and more. Don’t get me wrong, I do support the initiative and mean no disrespect, but why won’t you support your housed constituents with the same passion? Help your property owners so we don’t add to the unhoused crisis. Help those needing extra income so they can remain in their homes. Whether you are young and just starting out in your first condo, or a family trying to stay afloat, or retired and living on a fixed income – people need support, and they need to earn extra income to pay the bills. Inflation rose to 8.6%. Social Security gave a 5.9% increase in 2022. The stock market fall took $3 Trillion Dollars from retirement accounts. Families are spending an average of $346.67 more a month compared to last year on necessities. Gasoline is up 48%, Eggs 32%, Milk 17%. Property owners that pay taxes, contribute to the community, invest in their neighborhoods and support local businesses, need your help and support to continue on their road to success and retirement. With short term rental restrictions such as the 180-day rule, single family dwelling only and one contract at a time rule you will put constituents out of their properties. They simply will not be able to afford to live in Lakewood. What other home occupations are only allowed to do business 6 months out of the year? Would they be able to stay in operation and earn enough income to sustain their annual budget? What about someone buying their first home who cannot afford a single-family dwelling with the current prices? Will you deny them the benefit of renting out space in their condo or townhome, if the covenants allow it, so they can be a homeowner gaining equity? Multifamily complexes already have many rules in place that address parking, noise and trash removal, making them a perfect fit for short term rentals. And the homeowner still has the use of the extra space when she needs it and doesn’t rent it out. What about the single mom in a tri-level that has the use of the main floor and upstairs for herself and her children, with a separated lower-level family room, kitchenette and two bedrooms? Will she not be able to rent the two separate bedrooms to individuals for the time they need it, to support her family and keep them in their home? I don’t think I even need to address a retired teacher, who gave to his community his entire career, and is just trying to remain in his home on a fixed income. Help people make ends meet in this time of great need. This need will only continue to increase.
June 16, 2022, 5:18 PM
Chana Guy
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Mr. Gomez submitted the following to the City Manager's Office (CMO) joint inbox, entered here by CMO staff: Respectfully, The Housing Commission seems to be missing the greater picture. Rising mortgage interest rates and the fear of further inflation and economic turmoil have already resulted in a loss of property values. Property values have come down and they will continue to come down in the foreseeable future. The timing is NOT RIGHT to be considering new restrictions for short term rentals which will result in the elimination of investors doing short term rentals forcing them to sell their homes/properties in a “buyer’s” market resulting in the loss of additional property values. It is indisputable that with increase in the number of homes available for sale added to a reduction in the demand of homes due to higher interest rates results in loss of property values. If you approve any restrictive measures on STRs you will have literally hundreds of your constituents owing amounts that exceed the value of the properties while losing their equity and lifetime’s savings also known as “upside-down mortgages”. I don’t disagree with the housing commission looking for ways of increasing revenues for the City of Lakewood, but the timing is not right for any restrictive measures in an already struggling real estate market. I urge you to indefinitely postpone any measures on short term rentals.
June 14, 2022, 1:18 PM
German Al Gomez
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Respectfully, before you consider approval of any kind of regulations with respect to STR’s you must take into consideration the state of the nation’s and local economy. Home inventory are rising dramatically, together with rising mortgage interest rates. Lower property values are already a reality. Please don’t add another major element of eliminating the investors from the equation. Lower property values will affect all the property owners, regardless if you are involved with STR or not. Thank you so much German Gomez
June 14, 2022, 8:30 AM
German Gomez
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I want to commend the housing commission on their hard work to collaborate with its constituents and come to a resolution that benefits the greater good. The two drafted ordinance presented Have come a long way from the limitations the original versions had. Bravo on that. With that said, I will be one of the many negatively affected Lakewood residents if a version of ordinance passes that requires owners to be present and primary residence of property. Our small humble str operation has three properties. One which is lived in by myself and my gf and the other one which i previously occupied by myself until I purchase my second home. It then immediately became a short term rental so I could benefit from the additional income they generate over long term rentals. The additional income I make over the mortgage allowed me to save up over the course of four years for my now current home. It also allowed me to pay for much needed repairs and upgrades to the first home that i otherwise would not have been able to afford, such repairs included adding an AC system and repairing/mitigating foundation issues. Buying a second home allowed me to elevate my Finacial status and become that much more of the independent individual I always hoped to become. With out str reaching this point of Finacial stability in my life would have been further delayed, if not never achieved. I also manage a third str property for a client who lives in Wheatridge. That client previously lived in Lakewood until he and his partner purchased a second home together in Wheatridge. they are/were in a same situation, where their mortgage on first home actually exceeds the going rental rate for a 3bed 2bath 1200sqft home. So they turned to str where they were able to cover mortgage and also supplement a portion of their current mortgage which again , huge blessing and opportunity otherwise not an option with restricting str Licenses to primary residences. We employ three cleaners and a handy man to operate these three properties. I am paid approximately 13% of net profits of the property I manage This additional income has made a huge difference in my life. I am able to live much more comfortably and buy groceries with out feeling concerned. To reiterate , we , myself , my gf , my clients and my support staff live and depend on the earnings of our str business. That is 7 individuals that will have their life dramatically change (likely for worse) as a result of such ordinances If this ordinance passes and limits str licenses to primary resident hosts, I would have to likely sell my first home . I would have to let go my cleaners and handy man who all live in Lakewood. Even worse scenario now , i would sell my first home for a loss almost for sure , as the real estate market has already taken a huge hit with mortgage rate increases, This is not an opinion , it’s a fact. Homes are not selling currently due to rates jumping over 2 full points since this same time last year. What I would charge rent for a long term tenant would barley be enough to cover my mortgage. My life would be dramatically limited with the change of income from eliminating my str business . The last thing il leave you on is a quick word on the trickle down effects of Eliminating / criminalizing more then half the str’s currently operating. We can agree a recession is on the horizon, correct? We know the cost of food, cost of housing, cost of gasoline and the cost of labor are currently in the rise. So in a time of future Finacial burden and uncertainty why eliminate sources of income from those that need it the most. Less Lakewood home owners making an str income , leads to less employment in the area, leads to less spending in the area leads to less economic performance of small business as a whole, leads to less private investments in the area by entrepreneurs and overall less quality life for Lakewood residents.
June 13, 2022, 6:37 PM
Mateo Gomez
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This ordinance does not address how many licenses will be available? What protects us - the short term rental host - from the number of available licenses to arbitrarily being reduced without cause or reason as what happened in Breck? This ordinance also does not address costs associated with application and renewal from becoming so inflated that is prevents Lakewood hosts from short term renting?
June 13, 2022, 9:54 AM
Danielle Hull
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I have read thru the proposed changes. I think this option is better. I do have a couple of things to say about a few things that I don't agree with and hope the Housing Council will consider. As a Mom of toddlers, who is often home alone with them, I don't feel comfortable putting a sign in my front yard announcing to anyone who drives by that I have a STR in my home. I feel putting a sign in your yard or window, is asking for trouble. I'm fine letting my immediate neighbors know but not via a sign in my yard. I live on a busy street, right on the corner & this requirement doesn't sit well with me. Anyone who drives by will know that I have a STR & I feel this could bring the wrong kind of attention to my home & my immediate neighborhood. I also don't think limiting a STR to only being allowed to rent their space out for 180 days is fair. It's my house & it's how I make income to feed my children. I need to be able to rent my basement/extra rooms out for as many days a year as I can to support my family. The space I rent out is extra space that my family doesn't use. So limiting how many days I can rent it out, limits my income. Questions: What will the License Fee be and how long will it be good for? Hopefully at least two years. Upon renewal, will a new inspection need to be done? If nothing has changed upon renewal, I would hope I wouldn't have to have (&pay) for another inspection. Regarding the Inspection, who will do that inspection & who will pay for that inspection? How much will the inspection cost? How quickly will an Inspector be available once a License application is submitted with the fee? Also, if you have multiple sleeping rooms in your home that you currently rent out as individual spaces on the STR sites separately, will that still be allowed? Again, if I live in a 4 bedroom house & want to rent out 2 of the bedrooms as individual STRs, why can't I have two separate listings? I think I read that you are only allowed to have 1 listing per residence. That doesn't work if you have multiple bedrooms or spaces you rent out or would like to rent short term in your home. I have no qualm with paying for a License, taxes, etc...or having my STR inspected (although, the STR companies & guests have already done this for you). If your rating goes down & your place isn't up to par, the guests who stay with you will rate you badly & the STR company will shut you down. Having the city inspect the STR units may be over kill & not really needed. Instead of adding more to the City's requirements & most likely slowing the process down, why don't you partner with Airbnb, VRBO & other STR companies to use the work they've already done to your advantage? I'm not sure what that would look like, but I'm sure they would be happy to work with the City, especially if it would speed up the process to get STRs in Lakewood Licensed & legal per the City codes. Basically, my request is that you sincerely consider the following: 1. Eliminate the 180 day restriction 2. Eliminate the requirement of putting a sign in the yard or window of the STR 3. Allow more than 1 listing on STR sites using the same License # for properties that have more than 1 space they would like to rent out 4. Consider partnering with the already established STRs that are currently operating in Lakewood & the actual STR companies who have done their due diligence on the current STRs instead of doing in person Inspections. I feel inspecting each STR will slow the process down tremendously. Thank you for your time & consideration. I hope I've given you a few things to consider before making final decisions on the rules for STRs in Lakewood.
June 9, 2022, 11:04 PM
Meg Benjamin
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