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Kamas Planning Commissioners Say Nightly Rentals Will Be Tough Decision

The Kamas Planning Commission hosted a public hearing Tuesday night on whether to allow nightly rentals in town, and only one resident turned out to speak.

The planning commissioners continued the item to get more information, saying they will face challenges no matter what course they take.  

The chair of the Kamas Planning Commission, Leslie Staples, said that like it or not, nightly rentals have come to town.

City Planner Amanda Huffmyer asked the planning commission to discuss whether nightly rentals should be allowed; if so, where they should be located; and what kind of permitting process they should follow.

The only comment in the public hearing came from Jessica Allen Bateman, a Kamas resident for over 20 years, who said the city doesn’t need nightly rentals.      

“I don’t want a party next to me.   I don’t want the irresponsibility of tenants, which I’ve seen many, many, many times.   And I don’t think the town’s set up for it and needs it.”

Huffmyer said she drafted an ordinance to regulate nightly rentals—mixing together statutes from Park City and Midway.    She said she could also look at communities that have banned them.

Planning commisisoners said whether nightly rentals were banned or permitted, they will have to find a way to enforce their decision.

Planning Commissioner Nathan Miles said the topic brings up a familiar dilemma.      

“Now we’re back to the dilemma that we’ve had in years past.  Are we willing to tell landowners what they can do or not do with their property.”

Staples said it’s clear that the nightly rentals can be lucrative.         

“We had a client over in Park City that rented her house for the Christmas/New Year holiday and that’s how she supplemented her income and didn’t have to work for six months because she just rented her house for a two-week period of time and moved out.  So people definitely make money that way.”

She said her concern is people will figure a way to get around the system.   Staples added, “Do I love it?  No.”        

The Planning Commission voted unanimously to table the topic.    Staples said in the end it won’t be an easy decision for any of them.

Known for getting all the facts right, as well as his distinctive sign-off, Rick covered Summit County meetings and issues for 35 years on KPCW. He now heads the Friday Film Review team.
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