Saturday, June 7, 2014

Is the "Sharing Economy" a Green Strategy for Denver?

When it comes to housing, airbnb is the most important player in the sharing economy.

Airbnb is a very useful tool to help a building owner eke more money out of his investment. More income means his investment is more sustainable.  The visitors and tourists that use his accommodation will spend money in the neighborhood. That makes the local businesses more sustainable.

Having thousands of airbnb hosts makes a growing city more sustainable because it means that fewer new hotels need to be built. New hotels place a large added burden on the utility infrastructure.

Some cities are resisting the new realities of the sharing economy, and are hampering its growth through unnecessary regulation.

For many years, Denver's zoning law has prohibited homeowners from having lease periods of less than 30 days.  This law has been challenged in Park Hill, but the law prevailed.

Today, Denver's neighborhood leaders tend to be the type of people that want to "preserve neighborhood character".   They do not like short term rentals.  City Council President Mary Beth Susman understands the "sharing economy" and has begun the discussion.   Stay tuned.

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