Last night, the Colorado Springs City Council unanimously passed a massive restriction on Airbnb rentals. At one point, the fire department had to be called in to enforce the 160-person limit in the city council chambers, and move concerned property owners into different areas of the building to watch proceedings remotely.
People packed the chamber with signs that said “protect private property rights,” and “limit or cap = ban.” The other side was pushing the narrative that “short term rentals are not a right.” We suppose they see themselves as the arbitrators of which rights belong to people and their property.
But they would be wrong.
The know-nothings who opposed Airbnb hosts used the same tired and unproven excuses to trample on the rights of others as has been trotted out time and again – Airbnb increases traffic and noise, and it diminishes property values. Anyone who has stayed in one knows that is untrue.
In a move that is less draconian than the controversial law passed in Denver, these Airbnb units are not restricted to the owner’s principal residence, a condition that could have wiped out small investors who have been using some of their residential real estate holdings to provide short term rentals to visitors and tourists.
It’s an interesting land grab and assault on private property rights for what is normally considered a conservative city. City council threw private property rights out the window, probably at the behest of the hotel lobby and bed and breakfast operators.
Colorado Springs sees high demand for rooms during peak the peak summer season, as well as around graduations. Often times during these periods, the Broadmoor and Cheyenne Mountain Resort are completely booked.
Another bad break for Colorado entrepreneurs. We can assume some of these people will need the extra cash if proposed tax increases happen in November.