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P.O. Box 2315
480 East Ave. N.
Ketchum, ID  83340
Ph: 208.726.3841
Fax: 208.726.8234

WHAT'S HAPPENING

Posted on: May 12, 2017

The Long-Term Effects of Short-Term Rentals - Mayor Nina Jonas

After the Great Recession, the sharing economy grew considerably, and platforms like Airbnb and VRBO became increasingly popular. Ketchum has always acknowledged the important role that tourism plays in our local economy and recognizes the benefits of short-term rentals (STRs) to travelers and some homeowners. Today, Ketchum homeowners can legally offer STRs only in the tourist zones (T zones) and short-term occupancy zones (STO zones).

In Ketchum, we use our zoning codes to implement local solutions to local problems. With recently passed state legislation (HB216) regarding STRs, however, Idaho cities have been stripped of their ability to manage short-term housing within their own communities (except in very specific circumstances). In general, and even before this law was passed, cities in Idaho simply don't have the degree of local control as cities in other states. "Local control" is touted as a prized value in the Legislature but it's often just lip service as state lawmakers continue to erode our ability to determine how we shape our community and plan for our future. Laws like HB216 reflect a larger pattern of the state taking away a city's own zoning authority and, consequently, a city's power to govern itself as it best sees fit.

Our state legislature's preemptive action on the City's ability to govern for its citizens and their needs, particularly in handing STRs carte blanche, can have an enormous impact on the character, quality of life, economy, and potential future of Ketchum. We need -- and should be allowed -- to protect our community values and chart our own course. HB216 does not allow us to do so.

In this newsletter, you'll find more information about HB216, STRs, and what they mean for our local economy and quality of life. As HB216 chips away even further at our ever-diminishing ability to govern ourselves, I will continue to search and advocate for ways to ensure that the people who know Ketchum best are the ones who are able to decide how best to build and protect the community here.

Nina

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May 12, 2017 Newsletter
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