In January 2003, my brother-in-law, his wife, my wife and I met in Lincoln City to decide on a vacation rental to purchase. We were all in our mid 50s with an income from a family trust. We looked at every beachfront property for sale in Lincoln City that weekend.
We chose a property, 4425 S.W. Beach Avenue, because it was constructed for a vacation rental. Vinyl siding, metal roofing, rough cedar interior walls, no interior or exterior paint to redo every year, and a history of family rentals. My brother-in-law had rented this home in the early 1980s as a vacation rental. It was built by three real estate salesmen from Salem as a vacation rental in 1976.
The home north of us was a vacation rental and still is. The home south of us was a vacation rental and still is. Now, the VRD consensus group is proposing that this area should be off limits to future vacation rentals and that ours should expire when the property next changes hands.
Our home has a 36-year history as a vacation rental. I would venture to guess that our 36-year history is more longevity than most of the people complaining about this issue.
We don't complain about our neighbors parking in the street. We don't complain about the garbage dumpster at the apartments across the street. We don't complain when our neighbors are working on their vehicles at 11 p.m. We don't complain about the salal and blackberries taking over landscapes. We don't care what plants our neighbors plant.
We should have cared when the home south of us went up an additional two stories and the additional shade all but killed our 40–foot shore pine. We don't complain when tourists park in our lot to use the stairs to the beach. We hire a reputable management company to manage our home. We manage our home to be an asset to the community.
Now it is time to complain. In August, one of our clients was confronted by a man who had taken pictures of two bags of garbage that previous renters had left outside of the garbage can. He had filed a complaint with the City. The City had contacted our management company and the bags were removed.
The man was on the property, yelling and screaming, asking what our new client was going to do with his garbage, which was due to be picked up the next morning.
We don't care how this gentleman acts towards us as owners, our management company, the City or the police department — but for him to come onto our property and act so inappropriately towards our clients crosses a line. If he has a problem, he has a proper recourse outlined in the present rules.
We talked with the City police department and were advised that we couldn't act against this person until we had put him on legal notice.
While we were formulating our response, my brother-in-law had a confrontation with this gentleman's wife. On a sunny afternoon, my brother-in-law was on our back deck listening to the radio. He noticed this gentleman's wife standing in the street positioned so she could see the people on the deck. After 15 minutes, he went outside and talked with her. Nothing came of this because he introduced himself as an owner.
She knew this was a vacation rental and she was intentionally interfering with normal beachfront activities. If these people come onto our property again, we will use the only remedy available to us through the local police department. As VRD owners, we all need to act on these inappropriate and unwarranted actions.
The real problem that vacation rental owners face is the vicious attacks that a few people seem to think they are compelled to do. They need to be held to the same standards that you and I are held to. They have to call the police or the City. The City or the police call the representative on the license to fix the problem. If the problem isn't fixed file a complaint.
If these people confront the renters, have them fined or arrested. This needs to be addressed. At this time, Lincoln City has a group of vigilantes that are using their brand of justice to impose their will on others. It crosses the line, when that justice is imposed on innocent visitors that are the lifeblood of Lincoln City.