The Clatsop County Commission will consider two competing proposals this week, one of which will impose strict restrictions on where vacation rentals are allowed in unincorporated areas.
The Commissioner decides whether to limit short-term rental licenses in residential areas to the non-corporate community of Archcape at the southern end of the county and bans them in other non-corporate residential areas of the county.
The Board will also consider another proposal to revise the county code to regulate short-term rentals in all residential zones. This is a step towards formally approving a rental that is not explicitly permitted by the existing zoning code.
The problem of short-term leasing has become a lightning rod for coastal communities. Some year-round county residents complain that vacationers are annoying and the surge in villas pushes home prices up. On the other hand, the possibility of restricting vacation homes has raised concerns between rental owners and some business owners who are worried that the proposed ordinance will discourage visitors and weaken the county’s occupancy tax revenues. rice field.
Incorporated cities have their own rules for vacation rentals, so places like Astoria and Seaside are unaffected. However, rental owners in other non-incorporated areas of the county lose their short-term rental licenses when they come for renewal.
It is not clear how the Commission tends to vote on proposals.
The seemingly contradictory proposals deal with slightly different rules, said county spokesman Tom Bennet. He said it is related to the county’s zoning code, which determines the types of buildings allowed in different areas. The other sets operating standards for rental housing throughout the county, with the exception of the archecapes, where the county has its own rules.
Residents who opposed the surge in vacation rentals argued that short-term rentals should not be allowed on rural lands where the zoning code is silent on the subject. However, the county has issued short-term rental licenses in these areas, said Dan Kerns, a lawyer hired to advise Clatsop County residents on land-use issues.
If the zoning ordinance restricting short-term rentals is passed, it will be the latest example of coastal areas restricting vacation rentals due to concerns about rising habitability and home prices.Voters in Lincoln County last November measurement Over the next five years, we will phase out short-term leasing in non-incorporated areas of the county.
At the end of last year, the County Commission set up a temporary moratorium on a new short-term lease permit. The Moratorium, which was originally scheduled to expire in December, has now been extended to April 28.
In February, the county commissioner instructed staff to draft strict rules, but continued to allow short-term rentals in all residential areas, Bennett said.
However, after reviewing the proposal, the county planning committee recommended that the board should only allow short-term rentals in Archecape.
Bennett did not reveal where the county’s vacation rentals were, citing a county ordinance prohibiting the disclosure of information about personal temporary occupancy tax revenues.
However, county documents presented at next week’s meeting show that there are 186 licensed short-term rental properties in unincorporated Clatsop County. If the County Commission approves a new ordinance, only 77 of those permits may be renewed.
County officials estimate that this would result in a loss of nearly $ 500,000 a year in transit tax revenue.
Written public comments to the Board over the past few years have raised concerns about the widespread dissatisfaction and widespread dissatisfaction with the county’s previous handling of short-term rental properties.
Some complained that short-term renters drove across their property to the beach, littered the area, and made a loud noise late into the night.
“It’s not up to me to call the hotline and call the police because the lessor / vacationer doesn’t know about community or county rules,” writes county resident Terry Andrews. .. Andrews said that even in the presence of such lines, counties often do not enforce the rules.
However, some homeowners, realtors, and coastal visitors have written to the Commission expressing concern about the financial losses that could result from vacation rental restrictions.
Linda Needam said the impact of her and her husband cleaning a house in Clatsop County and banning short-term rents further squeezed their finances as they tried to recover from the business lost during the pandemic. I wrote that I would do it.
Bobak Baladahl, who owns a rental property in Clatsop County, said the proposal would effectively shut down his ability to rent a home.
“From our point of view, business owners and vacation rental owners are not represented at all. They ignore us all,” said Baradal, a resident of Beaverton.
Some permanent residents have also raised concerns that short-term rentals will push up housing costs and deprive them of the already limited supply of affordable homes for those who live there full-time.
“We hear every week, if not every day, that valuable, talented and skilled locals and their families can’t find a home. They just need a place to live. There are more local businesses and businesses than locals, “Beth Radich, a resident of the unincorporated Kratosop County, wrote to the planning committee in March.
Mr. Baradar said he would not buy complaints that rental housing is digging into housing supplies for residents all year round.
“In the US-wide housing market, prices are skyrocketing and homes are above selling prices,” he said. “They’re trying to use vacation rentals as an excuse, but home prices across the US don’t make sense.”
According to staff reports, the committee is likely to discuss the ordinance on Wednesday and vote for both on April 27.
— Jayati Rama Krishnan