Vacation Rental Information
Vacation Rentals in Durango
The Land Use and Development Code for the City of Durango has allowed and regulated ’Tourist Homes’ in certain parts of the City since 1989. Recently, the rise in popularity of vacation rentals and the use of the internet to advertise vacation rental opportunities has led to the adoption of regulations that limit this use to appropriate areas in order to reduce the potential for impacts on the broader community.
A vacation rental is a dwelling unit that is rented for the purpose of lodging for a period of 1 to 29 days. This is a commercial use of a residential property, and is only allowed following the approval of a Limited Use Permit by the Community Development Department. Rentals of 30 days or longer are not considered vacation rentals and are not regulated by the City of Durango.
Vacation rentals are only permitted in certain zones. These include the Central Business zone, the Mixed-Use zones, a few select Planned Development zones, and Established Neighborhoods (EN) 1 & 2. There is a cap on the number of available permits in the EN zones, with a total of 22 vacation rentals in EN-1 and 17 in EN-2. In the other zones where vacation rentals are permitted, caps are applied on a development-specific basis. This means that a set number of residential units may be permitted as vacation rentals within a certain building or development. In most cases, caps have been reached, and properties must be placed on a wait list before being eligible to apply.
Below is a summary table of the permitted VRs in the City of Durango.
|Total||Currently Active||# on Wait List||Total Allowed|
|Total in EN-1 zone||20||25||22*|
|Total in EN-2 zone||17||11||17*|
|Total in other zones||86||**||N/A|
|Total in all zones||125||**||N/A|
*Only the EN-1 and EN-2 residential zones have a zone-specific cap on the total number of Vacation Rentals allowed. **Planned Developments and specific Mixed Use Developments usually also have caps and therefore wait lists. Please view the VR Permit Waitlist by clicking the link above the table.
Current regulations are intended to mitigate the impacts of vacation rentals on the character of Durango’s neighborhoods and preserve housing units for City residents. A summary of the regulations governing vacation rentals can be found here.
Vacation rentals are required to obtain a Limited Use Permit (LUP) prior to establishment or advertisement. In order to qualify for this use, properties must meet specific requirements outlined in Section 2-2-3-4.G of the City’s Land Use and Development Code. These include standards for on-site parking, occupancy, trash and recycling procedures, and compliance with the City’s noise ordinance, among others. In the Established Neighborhood zones, regulations on the density of vacation rentals also apply. A second vacation rental is not allowed on the same street segment as an existing permitted vacation rental without the approval of the Planning Commission, and a third vacation rental would not be permitted on a street segment.
Planned Developments must specifically state that Vacation Rentals are an allowed use in their governing documents. In all cases, HOA documents and any agreements with the City must specifically state that vacation rentals are allowed, otherwise they are not permitted. Vacation rentals are not allowed in Twin Buttes, Three Springs, Rock Ridge or Sky Ridge.
Operators of vacation rentals are required to maintain a City business license and must collect and remit required lodger’s and sales taxes to the City.
Vacation rental permits are non-transferable. The sale or transfer of a property with a vacation rental LUP automatically invalidates the permit.
The City takes enforcement of our vacation rental regulations seriously and prioritizes the discovery of illegal vacation rentals. If you have a complaint about a vacation rental (permitted or un-permitted), click here to submit your complaint to the City’s Code Enforcement Division.
This page is intended to give a quick overview of the vacation rental standards. For more information, please call the Community Development Department at (970) 375-4850 or visit the Land Use and Development Code, Section 2-2-3-4.
In 1989, the Land Use and Development Code (LUDC) was adopted. It included Tourist Homes as an allowed use in certain zones and a conditional use in other zones. The increase in vacation rental interest as well as an increase in the number of complaints regarding vacation rentals led to the first round of amendments to the standards governing vacation rentals. Since then, the vacation rental standards have been amended three more times. A summary of the amendment history is below:
- The vacation rental ordinance to update the ’Tourist Home’ standards was adopted in March 2007. This ordinance included a 300-foot distance buffer between vacation rentals in the EN-1 and EN-2 neighborhoods.
- The first round of amendments in October 2008 addressed transferability, on-site parking, and HOA approval for VRs in HOA-governed developments.
- A second round of code amendments in 2009 increased distance buffer between rentals from 300 feet to 500 feet in the EN-1 and EN-2 neighborhoods. It also required all vacation rentals to be permittedthrough the Conditional Use permit process, with the exception of rentals in the Central Business and Light Commercial zones, which were still permitted through the Special Use Permit process.
Through the process to update the entire Land Use and Development Code (LUDC) some amendments were proposed to the previously-existing vacation rental standards. The most significant proposed change affected the distance buffer required between vacation rentals in the EN-1 and EN-2 zones.
Following significant public outreach, research on the issue, and discussions with City Council, the Council decided on the overall number of vacation rentals that should be allowed in the EN-1 and EN-2 zone districts. The Council has instituted a strict buffer to prevent clustering of VRs.