DEAR EDITOR:

I urge you to vote "yes" for Proposition 300. First, the town needs to abandon its distinction about the single-family residential district and permit cooperative living arrangements in every zoned district in the town. We have a large stock of single-family residences that are dark most of the year. Residential cooperatives have been on the statute books for many years, and there are many such successful co-ops in Colorado. As nonprofits, they can apply for and receive grants; and the co-op members pool their funds and incomes to obtain bank financing via the cooperative. This is a clear path to reopen some of these dark houses as they come on the market one by one. It will bring hard working locals back into town and provide loyal employees to the various businesses in desperate need of employees.

Second, Prop 300 limits short-term rental (STR) licenses to 400 annually. This is a ceiling and a substantial reduction in the current number of rental licenses, whether the disputed number is 822 or 770. Proposition 2D merely creates a moratorium for existing STRs for two years, with no reductions. This is a floor, not a ceiling. 2D attempts to entice the voter by increasing STR fees that will produce $200,000 in additional revenue annually. That will not even buy one affordable housing unit at current market prices.

Third, limiting STRs to 400 with an annual lottery will reduce the number of STRs in town and is an equitable way to manage the total number of STRs. It frees up approximately 400 housing units for potential long-term rentals (LTR). For property owners who do not win the annual STR lottery, they can turn to LTR for rental income, and I am sure many will do so. Landlords and prospective tenants are free to negotiate terms, including short-term occupancy terms and times by the landlord. I did this myself for many years with a landlord, and it worked out just fine.

Finally, funding for marketing should be phased out. The marketing mission is accomplished. There are numerous events in Telluride and Mountain Village throughout the year that promote Telluride as a destination resort, and Telluride has a nationwide and international reputation as a destination resort.

Gordon McPhee

Telluride