Pitkin Trustee's Meeting: June 11, 2018

by Pitkin News june 13, 2018

PITKIN TOWN COUNCIL PLANS TO PROCEED WITH ELECTIONS TO DETERMINE 
SHORT TERM RENTAL REGULATIONS AND A POSSIBLE SALES TAX INCREASE

At the June 11 regular meeting the Pitkin Town Council decided that a sales tax increase will be proposed to local registered voters in the November general election and prior to the end of 2018 a referendum vote will be scheduled to determine whether or not short term rental regulations will be adopted.

In order to propose a sales tax increase to Pitkin voters in November the Town Council needs to provide the Colorado Department of Revenue with a draft ordinance to be reviewed prior to formally notifying Gunnison County election officials of the town’s intent. Based upon recent workshop discussions related to the need to generate more revenue for town operations, the Town Council will seek voter approval for an additional one percent in the local sales tax rate. The current local sales tax rate is 3% and that generates approximately $30,000 per year. An additional 1% sales tax will add approximately $10,000 to the town’s coffers. While recognizing that the sales tax is primarily paid by visitors to Pitkin, the Mayor and Town Council members acknowledge that economic factors which affect tourism may cause sales tax revenues to fluctuate from year to year so it will be necessary to seek other revenue sources in coming years. The Town Attorney and Town Clerk will prepare a draft ordinance to be reviewed at the July Town Council meeting.

Town Trustees Steve Pinkston and Suzy Metzler proposed that the Town Council consider placing a moratorium on the creation of additional short term rentals in Pitkin until such time that the Council has had time to develop an enforceable short term rental regulation. Noting that time is needed to seek a compromise on the divisive subject, Pinkston and Metzler believe a moratorium would provide the opportunity to seek a solution without the controversy of new rentals being created. There was discussion of a moratorium on new short term rentals in the Residential zoning district but there was concern that such an action by ordinance would possibly lead to a referendum petition. Rather than risk a forced vote on a moratorium, the Town Council opted to work towards a December referendum election at which time one or two regulation options will be submitted to Pitkin voters. Trustee Brad Wick noted that at their May meeting the Town Council passed a motion to submit the short term rental issue to the voters no later than December 2018. Mr. Wick further stated that it is his belief that two optional sets or regulations should be put to a vote, one which requires a short term rental permit and other compliance criteria and a second option which would limit the approval of complying permit applications to the Commercial zoning district. A workshop will be scheduled in July so the Town Council can work out the ballot language for a December referendum election on short term rental regulations.

In other business the Town Council received a number of Commissioner reports as well as one public comment. Building Inspector Rand Makowski reviewed the current Fire Ban which limits campfires to approved metal and/or concrete constructed fire pits and recommended that the Town Council consider adopting a resolution that would provide for the automatic implementation of a Fire Ban whenever Gunnison County adopts a ban. Environmental Health Agent Chuck Kolinski reviewed recordkeeping procedures designed to maintain current information on OWTS installations in the community and Garry Winget reviewed several upcoming activities sponsored by PHCA. Town Hall Commissioner Juliet Serato discussed recent improvements to Town Hall as well as planned exterior painting, and noted that a fund raiser for Town Hall will be held July 14. Valerie Rupp read a letter on behalf of Mike Rupp outlining concerns related to the impact of short term rentals in residential areas.

Mayor New requested that Town Clerk Sara Gibb provide an update on plans to rent port-a-potties for the summer season. The Town Clerk indicated that 4 units will be placed prior to the July 7th Firemen’s Day parade and fundraiser. Location of the port-a-potties was not specified. Mr. Winget indicated that the restrooms in the Museum would be made available as needed and noted that usage last year was not a problem so PHCA will attempt to supplement the portable toilets within the capabilities of PHCA to maintain the Museum restrooms.

James Sharpton was appointed to the Board of Zoning Adjustment and the Trustees approved an interlocalagreement with Gunnison County to provide for noxious weed management. Property owners may contact Gunnison County if they plan to spray weeds on their property so Gunnison County does not. Placement of a sign on town right-of-way for the Pitkin Volunteer Fire Department was approved. The sign will provide information ontraining activities as well asfire ban notifications.

Mayor New outlined several topics which will require workshop sessions. Topics to be considered include new trustee orientation, budget reserve policy, records access policy and policies related to Town Commissioners and employees. A workshop will be held on June 19 so the Environmental Health Board can review a permit procedural problem for 724 State Street.

New Trustee orientation will also occur on June 19. The next regular Town Council meeting will be held on July 9 and later in July a workshop will be scheduled so the Trustees can develop ballot language for the December referendum on short term rental regulations.

You may listen to the audio recording of this meeting by following this Link.