Though we’re a small town, politics can often times loom large in local discussion. That certainly was the case with the citizen’s initiative of ballot question 300 and the countering position held by the 2D group. Not untypical, opinions varied greatly on the subject of Short Term Rentals and how to handle them looking to the future. The 300 group took the position that less STRs in town would result in more long term rental opportunities for locals. Said position never made much sense and many saw 300 more-so as a vote against tourism. In the end, the better run campaign for 2d won. Telluride, like much of the nation, is in the midst of a serious housing crisis for the local work force. If anything, the 2B/300 debate initiated great discussion that has really pushed the need for more local housing and for our governing entities and large employing businesses to get busy providing it or Telluride will continue to suffer the worker shortage it currently has.
Here’s the article from the Daily Planet:
Question 2D passes, 300 fails
Short-term rental initiatives split voters
• By Justin Criado, Editor
• Nov 2, 2021
The unofficial election results Tuesday night showed Question 2D received approximately 55 percent of the vote, while Question 300 garnered 41 percent. (Courtesy image)
The pair of ballot questions regarding short-term rentals — questions 300 and 2D — and how, or if, to regulate them within the Town of Telluride were the most discussed and debated initiative’s on this year’s ballot.
On Election Day Tuesday, the voters decided that Question 2D, which includes a two-year pause on the issuance of new short-term rental (STR) licenses through November 2023 and aims to generate $200,000 annually through an 100 percent increase on STR license fees, would be best, as it received just over 55 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results as of press time Tuesday night. Just under 44 percent of people voted against it.
“We are very grateful to Telluride’s voters for the passage of Question 2D. Investing in new affordable housing opportunities demonstrates how our community can come together with common sense and vision to address our challenges,” Keith Hampton and Alex Rollinson said in a joint statement. “We’re grateful for all the volunteers who pitched in and helped spread the word. We look forward to a robust community conversation about the role of tourism in our economy during the two-year moratorium on the issuing of new STR licenses. Telluride is a special place where we love to live, work and raise our families. We appreciate and value an ongoing conversation with the 300 supporters, as we are all part of the Telluride community. Our neighbors have spoken, and we believe this vote helps build a bright future for the residents and businesses throughout our area. To the voters of Telluride: Thank you!”
Hampton and Rollinson were representing the board of the Community Alliance for Effective Housing Solutions, the organization behind 2D.
Question 300, which aimed to limit STRs to 400 and conduct an annual lottery to distribute the licenses (primary homeowners and lodging establishments would be exempt), received just over 41 percent of the vote, while about 58 percent of people voted against it, according to unofficial results Tuesday night.
Hayley Nenadal, one of the organizers of 300, hopes the STR conversations and solutions proposed continue moving forward, especially since one of the initiatives passed, as there’s still work to do.
“The conversation of STRs has been long overdue in Telluride. We are extremely proud of the conversation 300 brought forward. The initiative was founded on the idea that we need more locals living here and less revolving doors as neighbors. We have to speak up for our local community that’s getting moved out of town,” she said Tuesday night. “There would be no 2D without 300. We hope that every advocate that spoke up for 2D in the name of affordable housing follows through on their campaign promise. The clear message of 2D was, ‘This is a pause to catch our breath and evaluate.’ The housing and labor crisis is multi-faceted, and we need long-term solutions now. This conversation is not over. Telluride still has difficult decisions to make on what we want our town to look like, and the action has to be now.”
The trio of non-STR ballot initiatives — questions 2A, 2B and 2C — all passed easily.
Ballot Issue 2A, which will remove a current county-wide 2 percent Lodging Tax and instead impose a 2 percent Town Lodger’s Tax on rooms and accommodations rented for 29 days or less, passed with just over 65 percent of votes.
Telluride Town Council will decide how to spend the money from the new lodger’s tax moving forward, unlike current county lodging tax revenues, which are overseen by the county’s Lodging Tax Panel.
Telluride Mayor Pro Tem Todd Brown previously told the Daily Planet that Ballot Issue 2A will have “zero financial impact on taxpayers.”
“2A gives the town control of those funds, which it does not have under the existing arrangement,” he said in sharing his personal opinion. “There’s a large amount of money going to Marketing Telluride Inc. with little-to-no transparency as to how it’s been used, and a loud and growing community-wide sentiment that we need to reassess how much we need to spend on marketing.”
Ballot Question 2B, which will amend the Telluride Home Rule Charter in making non-substantive changes to update procedures and clarify intent in order to conform with the State of Colorado Constitution and State of Colorado Election Codes, passed with just under 83 percent of the vote.
Ballot Question 2C, another procedural amendment to town charter, received just over 79 percent of the votes needed to pass.
“Telluride Town Council will have the authority to make amendments more quickly to comply with state statutes,” town clerk Tiffany Kavanaugh previously explained about 2C.