Wednesday, February 11, 2015

"Let's Regulate it." letter to the editor

This is in response to the Alpina Haus article on February 9. and the proposed amendment to the town charter.

Is providing a clean and safe rental property with modern appliances the same as "overdevelopment"?  Our "carefully crafted" permitting process makes no distinction between the two and I believe that is a core problem in our land use code.

During a public comment session in City Council this January (ordinance 19 redux)  I heard Mick Ireland​ say words to the effect that dilapidated properties rent for less which helps to keep our housing "affordable".  He may of been joking, sometimes it's hard to tell. 

Why doesn't Aspen have hotel/rental property inspectors and ratings? I've suggested this before as a way to encourage property owners to maintain their rentals. This would have a much higher probability of success than the deed restrictions and fee waivers proposed in the original ordinance 19. You could make it even more attractive by "fast tracking" any permit which seeks to comply with the inspectors recommendations. It would benefit both the guest and the proprietor by giving our visitors an impartial guide for the essential qualities of a rental (not unlike the "star" system in Europe) while promoting healthy competition between property owners to get the best rating with clean and safe rentals. 

"Regulation" doesn't just mean collecting permitting fees. It implies a certain responsibility to insure compliance with the rules.