Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Westport, CO Residents Complain about VRs

News@Norman  7/3/12

Vacation rentals are not regulated or included in any current county zoning standards, although deed restrictions in Westport state the homes are supposed to be for “private residential purposes” leaving open the possibility for neighbors to file a civil suit against the owners.

The county, however, has no legal standing to enforce the deed restrictions, according to county attorney Wesley Deaton who told commissioners that their hands were effectively tied under current regulations to do anything about the house.

He said the county could develop new regulations for vacation rentals, but that still wouldn’t fix the current problem because the property owner is grandfathered under current zoning laws. “We can’t retroactively stop something that’s already there,” he said.

Commission Chairman Alex Patton wondered if the county might be going “overboard” in regulating the vacation homes because of “one irresponsible owner” he called a “knucklehead.”

County staffers were instructed to “aggressively pursue” the angle of building code violations against the Howard Lane property, and to work with the Planning Board to come up with some suggestions on regulating vacation rentals.

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