Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect that the plaintiffs are asking for an injunction against the short-term rental moratorium.
Last year, Santa Fe County leaders passed an ordinance to keep short-term rentals in check. They also created a one-year moratorium prohibiting people from creating short-term rentals if they do not live on their property full-time. “People don’t like to be regulated, but at the same time for the wellbeing and health and safety of the county residents, we need to know what’s going on in the county,” said Santa Fe County Commissioner, Anna Hansen in a KRQE interview on November 4.
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The moratorium was set to expire on November 24. County commissioners are voting on November 17 to create a draft ordinance to extend the moratorium for 3 months, or until they look at the findings of a report showing the impact short-term rentals have on the area.
However, there is now a federal lawsuit filed by a married couple from Colorado against the county for the extension. The lawsuit said the couple purchased property in Santa Fe County in April and the suit claims the property purchased would be eligible to be used as a short-term rental if it weren’t for the draft ordinance.
The plaintiffs are asking for an injunction against the moratorium.
“My clients believe that common-sense, balanced regulation of short-term rentals is in the best interest of the County. The study commissioned by the Board confirmed the overwhelmingly positive aspects of short -term rentals. But the Board’s attempt to use an emergency declaration to extend the short-term rental moratorium simply does not comply with New Mexico law. My clients believe the Court will agree and require the Board to follow the law.”John C. Anderson, Holland & Hart LLP.
KRQE reached out to Santa Fe County, they said, “According to Santa Fe County policies, we, including the commissioners do not comment on pending litigation.” This is the second lawsuit filed by short-term property owners against the county.