Airbnb Probably Isn’t Driving Rents Up Much, At Least Not Yet

Airbnb and other short-term rental platforms have been a boon to travelers in recent years… But as such platforms have grown, housing advocates have become increasingly concerned that what’s good for visitors is bad for residents … they are exacerbating already severe housing shortages in cities such as New York and San Francisco, driving up rents.

But a FiveThirtyEight analysis of Airbnb booking and revenue data … shows that Airbnb’s impact is probably still small in most cities, but it also shows that a disproportionately large share of the company’s revenue comes from the listings that most worry its critics — homes that are rented out for a large portion of the year. That could give the company an incentive to focus on increasing such listings as it grows — something some experts believe may already be happening.

Source: Airbnb Probably Isn’t Driving Rents Up Much, At Least Not Yet –fivethirtyeight.com

Former Boulder co-op activists go national, after they’ve moved out of town

Another national YIMBY reporter accepts the co-op advocates story at face value: Boulder, Colorado’s Picklebric show why expensive cities need group housing.

At least he found one quote for the opposing viewpoint, unlike the Daily Camera:

It wasn’t a question of whether the house was properly managed, anyway, neighbor Steven Meier wrote in the Camera, so much as the sheer number of people:  “High-density boarding houses are simply incompatible with single-family residential neighborhoods. Nobody cares whether the occupants of the over-occupied boarding house have democratic meetings or are ruled by an authoritarian matriarch. The problem is the number of people per square yard, the temporary nature of most of the occupants, and the hostel/airbnb-like operation, that is most troubling to the neighbors.”

And he found a wonderful quote from the Boulder City Attorney:

“We’ve purposely not enforced because overoccupancy serves a purpose,” City Attorney Tom Carr told the Daily Camera.

I count eight people, plus the guy holding the camera. (Photo credit: Ethan “Dumpster Diver” Welty)

Source: Boulder, Colorado’s Picklebric show why expensive cities need group housing – slate.com

Cara Luneau: Dismayed by pace of change in Whittier neighborhood

I’ve lived in the Whittier neighborhood for 20 years and wish to express dismay in the face of accelerated change in this neighborhood.  The changes started with the proliferation of short-term rentals (VRBO, airbnb)… Recently there is talk of further increasing density in the Whittier neighborhood by allowing co-ops….  there is talk of a 40-unit apartment building at 15th and Pine that will violate numerous zoning restrictions…

What makes downtown Boulder charming is slipping through our fingers. Once lost, we will never get it back. It seems to me that what is behind most of this change is shortsightedness and greed. Is money all Boulder cares about?

Full Article: Cara Luneau: Dismayed by pace of change in Whittier neighborhood – Boulder Daily Camera

Kristin Bjornsen: Indecent proposal for open space 

If you care about open space, you should care about the Twin Lakes. That’s a bold statement for 20 acres of grassland in the boonies of Gunbarrel. Nonetheless, it’s true because of a dangerous proposition being made here: annexation through county open space. …  For those interested in attending to share their thoughts, the final review meeting will be at 4 p.m. on Aug. 30 at the Boulder County Court House, 1325 Pearl Street.

Full Story: Kristin Bjornsen: Indecent proposal for open space – Boulder Daily Camera

Read more about Twin Lakes at the Twin Lakes Action Group website, and be sure to sign the Twin Lakes Petition.

Diane Curlette: Healing the rift over proposed co-op ordinance

This post has been published in the Daily Camera as a Guest Opinion.

Healing needs to happen around the rift in the Boulder community caused by the content of the proposed new co-op housing ordinance and the process used to construct it.

The new co-op ordinance was written mainly by a few privileged young people seeking cheap Boulder housing, in private meetings with the City Attorney, and with the implicit backing of self- interested growth and density-promoting developers. The injurious nature of this proposed new ordinance has been revealed in the light of public scrutiny.

Single family-zoned neighborhoods ofthe city, already under duress from high levels of over-occupied investor rentals, stand to suffer grievous damage to their sense of security, stability and peaceful lifestyle. This is on top of the possible loss of monetary value of most families’ largest asset — their home. Many homebuyers understandably seek low density neighborhoods, specifically because of the noise and traffic they’ve experienced in high density settings elsewhere. In addition, many homebuyers prefer the stability of long term neighbors they can get to know, and rely on – not the constant revolving door of very temporary, self-described “modern nomads” that typify young co-op enthusiasts. When confronted with the presence of one of these co-ops next door, many homebuyers will pass, effectively lowering the resale value of the unfortunate “regular” home for sale. Continue reading “Diane Curlette: Healing the rift over proposed co-op ordinance”

Commercial fees could triple as Boulder pursues the affordable house 

This story was published in the Daily Camera on August 21, 2016:

Commercial fees could triple as Boulder pursues affordable housing

It contains this astonishing quote from one of the biggest developers in town, Lou DellaCava:

“Look, I’m happy that there is a consciousness about housing in this community,” he said, “But why is it not being assessed on the citizens who already enjoy the privileges. Why is it not part of the property tax?

The article addresses affordable housing fees (linkage fees) that are charged to commercial office space developers.  The idea is that their new commercial office developments bring more companies, employers, and their workers, to Boulder.  Continue reading “Commercial fees could triple as Boulder pursues the affordable house “

Alan Boles: Our neighborhood’s unneighborly hotel 

Can you have a residential neighborhood without having residential neighbors? That’s a basic question that the city has caused our little neighborhood at the western fringe of University Hill to confront.We are zoned R-1… The occupancy limit in this zone is no more than three unrelated people… Yet in our midst sits a single-suite hotel allowed by the city’s short-term rental ordinance.

According to its listing on VRBO, this hotel suite can accommodate up to 15 people. For the whole shebang the rates start at $745 a night, with a two-night minimum required on some weekends. According to the listing, the hotel is reserved about 85 percent of every month…

Read more at: Alan Boles: Our neighborhood’s unneighborly hotel – Boulder Daily Camera