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City Council updated on vacation-rental talks

5 percent cap agreed on for permits

City of Durango staff members conveyed the passion some residents have about vacation rentals during a Durango City Council study session.

Tuesday’s meeting, which also covered regulations of recreational and medical marijuana, updated the council on recent discussions with residents.

A staff report said the biggest issue remains spacing and the total number of vacation rentals allowed in the established residential neighborhoods. The council had agreed on a 5 percent cap on the number of permits for those neighborhoods and no more than two permits on each street segment. However, staff recommended a 3 percent cap and no more than two permits per street segment. That would allow up to 22 in downtown Durango and 17 on East Second and East Third avenues.

Some members of the community are so passionate about this issue that they may try to solve the issue through a citizen-initiated referendum.

“The implications of a successful referendum could be that there would be no vacation rental ordinance in place at least until late 2014, or possibly longer,” the report stated.

Councilors also have discussed waiving the physical separation requirement for vacation rentals in mixed-use buildings, but the report said that could be a problem in existing buildings. City staff recommended that waivers in existing buildings have other protections to avoid a cluster of vacation rentals.

smueller@durangoherald.com

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