As communities grapple with how to regulate short-term home rentals on sites like Airbnb, residents in one Denver neighborhood gathered at a hearing Thursday to ask the city to revoke their neighbor’s license to rent.
Garth Yettick has been renting his property on Marion Street, “Marion Manor,” through sites like Airbnb, HomeAway, VRBO and others since summer 2017. He argues the million-dollar home is his primary residence, while neighbors have said they hardly see him at the house.
“Every week, usually from Wednesday through Monday, the home is rented to large groups of people,” said Anne Stern, who lives on Marion Street near the property. “There’s weddings, there’s frat parties, there’s light shows, there’s dancing, there’s noise.”
Denver had nearly half a million Airbnb guests alone in 2018, according to data from the short-term rental site released this week. Hosts of those Denver rentals earned almost $75 million last year.
Statewide, home hosts earned $309 million and welcomed nearly 2 million guests in 2018. Denver was the county in the state with the most renters. Summit County — home to Breckenridge — came in second.
With more people seeking out short-term rental options as an alternative place to stay, more property owners have begun renting out their homes. This raises concerns for some of the residents who live adjacent to short-term rentals and for the cities in how to manage them.
In early 2017, Denver implemented new rules regulating short-term rentals. Landlords are required to have a tax ID, collect and pay taxes, and maintain a short-term business license. One stipulation in receiving a license from the city is that the landlord can only rent the home if it is their primary residence.
The city’s goal with the restrictions was to prevent landlords from owning several short-term rental properties and to protect affordable housing.
Marion Manor is located in the city’s Country Club neighborhood and is advertised as a “$5 million dollar country club estate.” The Victorian-style mansion is luxurious with a pool, hot tub, an extensive home gym and is $995 per night on Airbnb.
The city received two official complaints from neighbors on Marion Street that Yettick was only renting his property and not using it as his primary residence. They complained because they said large groups of people were coming and going from the home, partying late at night, being disruptive and causing traffic.
Stern said Yettick’s renters have been extremely rowdy.
“And it’s disruptive when you know that it is a commercial venture,” Stern said. “It’s different than having your neighbor have a party.”
Most of the neighbors who testified as witnesses Thursday said prior to summer 2017, they would see Yettick coming and going from the home a few times a week. And they say he has been around less since he received his short-term rental license from the city. One neighbor even brought a calendar with her where she documented when she saw Yettick coming and going from his property.
At the hearing, Yettick said he travels extensively for work and has a hectic schedule. But he said he spends about 75 percent of his time at Marion Manor. He said the change in his living pattern is partly because of divorce.
“I’ve poured my heart and soul into maintaining Marion Manor,” he said. “I love the place. It’s the place I’ve wanted to live forever.”
Property records show Yettick purchased a condo in Cherry Creek in August 2017, said city attorney Chris Gaddis. He said evidence from neighbors demonstrates why the city should revoke Yettick’s short-term license.
A hearing officer has five days to make a recommendation to the city on whether to revoke Yettick’s license.
Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story mentioned the wrong ski resort town in Summit County. Vail is located in Eagle County, while Breckenridge is in Summit. We regret the error.