Whelp, Boulder — if you got one of those 20 C&Ds from the city for operating a presently-illegal short-term rental, just use it for kindling.
The City Council is rescinding those letters and getting ready to send out a new set of letters. The second one you’ll receive will tell you to not worry about the undefined consequences outlined in the FIRST letter. However, the practice of operating your short-term rental remains illegal under current zoning and business code.
Why the (temporary) change of heart? I’ll bet dollars to a few gluten-free donuts that it had to do with the uproar of the general public after both the Daily Camera and Your Boulder made the news of the 20 C&D letters widespread in the City. With Boulder being such a big tourist town, VRBO and AirBNB listings are oftentimes the only way (and a more personal way) to find accomodations. Not to mention the dollars spent with local businesses by those who come into town and book those short-term rentals. Helloooooo, economy.
The City Council was aparently a bit blindsided by the City issuing those letters. The Council already had the issue of short-term rentals on the upcoming Council agenda and had no idea the City had sent out the letters. While we can bemoan communication and the action of one governing group not relayed to another, let’s for now be glad that the entire city is on the same page while the Council prepares to put this agenda forth for full discussion.
So for now, go forth and rent short-term. It’s illegal as hell according to the City of Boulder, but at least you don’t have to worry about undefined penalties. It’s quite likely you’ll be facing a new set of regulations soon — which frankly, isn’t too bad if it preserves the integrity of both the flexibility of short-term rentals and the needs of property owners simultaneously.