Customer Opinions: Short Term Rentals in the Ogden Valley – Quick Facts | News, Sports, Jobs

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared June 1 in Ogden Valley News.

Short-term rentals (STR) in the Ogden Valley continue to pose critical issues for residents of the valley. STRs are defined as rentals of less than 30 days. These STR dwellings are comprised of condominiums, townhouses, and single-family homes with 1 to 8 bedrooms.

The popularity of the Valley and the ease of renting property as an STR through a variety of online sites (VRBO, Airbnb, etc.) has greatly expanded illegal STRs in the Valley. Absentee owners swept up properties to take advantage of the Ogden Valley STR boom.

Despite this growing threat, Weber County has yet to develop an ordinance to effectively monitor and regulate these rentals. The county, meanwhile, has failed to effectively enforce these already weak STR regulations, saying it lacks the resources for enforcement.

Improved regulation and enforcement of repeatedly delayed STRs

Weber County planning staff got off to a great start in crafting this ordinance in the spring of 2021. However, during a Weber County commission working session held on April 19, 2021, Commissioner Gage Froerer urged that STR reform be put on hold due to “misinformation” about DOS and unpleasant calls he had received from residents. The “misinformation” seemed to indicate that Weber County wanted to expand STRs. But Commissioner Froerer made it clear at that meeting that the county’s work on STR reform had “never been about expanding STRs; but rather to enforce them.

More than a year later, at another county commission business session in May 2022, Commissioner Froerer again proposed to postpone any action on STR reform until “after the first of the year”. [2023].” No explanation was given as to why work on this critical issue should be postponed once again. And Weber County planning staff’s priorities were again realigned, prioritizing development, with a focus on development plans for the Snowbasin and Nordic Valley ski areas.

At this rate, the Valley cannot expect effective enforcement of existing regulations or reform of these regulations for at least another year…if at all.

What properties do STRs allow?

Under current county zoning regulations, STRs are permitted in the following zones: DDR-1, CVR-1, and FR-3. However, STRs are also permitted in a PRUD (Planned Residential Unit Development) in a forest, agricultural, or residential area – only if the PRUD is approved for STRs at the time Weber County reviews and approves the initial development plans.

A few examples of PRUDs in the Ogden Valley that have been approved for STRs are the single family home communities of Eden Escapes, The Bridges, Trappers and The Fairways. According to county regulations, all owners of housing units offering STRs must obtain an STR license annually from Weber County, regardless of the area/land use code where the dwelling is located. . In addition, a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) must also be obtained by owners of housing units offering STRs in the CVR-1 and FR-3 development zones.

STR underway in the Ogden Valley

In the Ogden Valley, there are at least 1,017 housing units in communities identified as offering STR. This doesn’t even include many foreclosure units that can be rented separately or 48 additional units that are currently under construction and advertised as ‘zoned for overnight rentals’. Although an annual county license is required for STRs, an information request to the county revealed that only 32 licenses had been granted for the entire county as of the end of March 2022 (GRAMA Request #22-226).

Based on Ogden Valley STR data alone, it is evident that Weber County does not have effective control of STRs and even these inadequate regulations on the books are not enforced. STR issues simply don’t have a priority for remedial action from our current Weber County commissioners. Why?

Why STRs are a threat to the Ogden Valley

The number of STRs in the Ogden Valley has resulted in an increase in the Valley’s transient population, leaving businesses like our Valley Market and restaurants with staff shortages. STRs are also contributing to the dramatic increase in the cost of homes in the valley, making it unaffordable for many families to stay or move to the Ogden Valley. Higher house prices also mean higher property taxes.

Many other municipalities have suffered from the increase in STRs. Affected cities and counties have lost their essential workers (e.g. police, fire, education, medical and service personnel) as these workers can no longer afford to live in the area due to the increase the cost of houses.

But other communities have acted. The governing bodies of some of these municipalities (e.g., Aspen, CO; Moab, UT; Springdale, UT; Park City, UT; Crested Butte, CO; Bozeman, MN) were smart enough to realize what was happening to their communities and took action to start monitoring and enforcing STRs. Some communities, such as Sandy, have capped the percentage of homes in a community that can be used as STRs, limiting the number of STRs to just over 1% of the housing stock. Much of this information about the actions these municipalities are taking was passed on to Weber County Planning months ago to help craft a more effective STR ordinance.

On May 25, the Salt Lake Tribune published an article titled “Gov. Spencer Cox points to two issues in Utah’s housing crisis: Airbnb and Vrbo” ( He said nearly 20,000 short-term rentals are compounding a bad situation in Utah. He added: “We’re taking homes and turning them into hotels…It’s housing stock that’s no longer rented to families or available for purchase by first-time owners or owners. others”.

If you have examples of where a municipality or county has taken action on STRs, please send that information directly to Scott Perkes of the Weber County Planning Office ([email protected]. us), which has extensively studied approaches to STR regulation; and directly to Weber County Commissioners Gage Froerer ([email protected]), Scott Jenkins ([email protected]) and James Harvey ([email protected]) .

Any other STR requests in the future?

Rezoning applications will be considered and approved at future meetings of the Ogden Valley Planning Commission, along with new PRUDs seeking permission to provide STR. No doubt some of the rezoning requests will be for areas that allow STRs. And it’s likely that those future rezoning requests would include parcels currently zoned as valuable open space. If the rezones or PRUD requests for STRs are approved, it is indeed to extend the STRs into the Ogden Valley.

When these demands are made, it will be important for Ogden Valley residents to attend related meetings and have their voices heard. Weber County Commissioners and members of the Ogden Valley Planning Commission may need to be reminded of what was proclaimed at the April 19, 2021 business session: the county had no intended to expand STRs, and instead wanted to focus on enforcement on non-compliance with STRs.

For the time being, the execution of STRs is only considered on the basis of a complaint. This means Weber County is looking to Weber County residents to enforce STRs! Now, as a resident of Ogden Valley, do you really want to take on the role of law enforcement? Do you want to take the risk of a potential conflict situation? If you know someone is illegally providing an STR, or if you experience inappropriate and disturbing behavior at an STR home, you should report the incident to Iris Hennon, Weber County Code Enforcement Officer, at [email protected] or call her at 801-399-8762. It’s unclear whether county “leaders” will take meaningful action, but reporting violations is the first step in exposing this growing threat to the Ogden Valley.


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