04/13/2005: "Planning Commission To Hold Workshop On Transient Rentals"
The San Juan County Planning Commission (PC) has decided to hold a workshop on Vacation Rentals -also known as Transient Rentals. The stated need to hold a workshop was based on the expressed concerns by some members of the public in past hearings, and the concerns of some members of the Planning Commission, that there is a need to review the regulations to determine if changes are needed; and if so, should the PC make a recommendation to the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC).
After discussion with Paul Dossett, the County Assessor, and Steven Amsbaugh, (the new Director of the combined permit and planning department), the Commission and the Director agreed that prior to making any recommendation to the BOCC, the Commission should be clear as to what the goal would be of having a workshop. After further discussion on the need for a work shop, the stated reason for having one seemed to be that some members of the public apparently believe greater controls are needed, or that Transient Rentals should not be allowed at all.
Steven Amsbaugh told the commissioners that the current work load of his department will limit his ability to take on any additional tasks at this time. He explained that when he was hired, his primary task was to take a look at the work load and back log of permit applications, and determine how to make the department run more efficiently. He stated that "We are frankly not progressing very quickly on long rage planning projects due to lack of staff".
He also informed the Commissioners that he would need someone -like the BOCC- to tell him what the priority of reviewing Transient Rental should be, but in the meantime he would be willing to determine how much staff time it would take to do an analysis; but again pointed out he has planning mandates that must be done. He hopes that within a month or two that he can take the department back to dealing with the other half of the mandate he has, which is long range planning, which at this point numbers three pages of projects, "But right now I'm stuck".
In his closing remarks the Directory pointed out that in the last three places he worked transient rentals were given bonus points to encourage them. It was agreed by the PC that a workshop will be scheduled, and that both staff and public testimony will be taken.