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Lincoln City Council looks set to embark on a “complete review” of its vacation rental dwelling (VRD) rules, with Mayor Dick Anderson saying he wants to tackle the “elephant in the room.”

Anderson called for the move at Council’s Monday, April 11, meeting after he and his fellow council members were asked to decide whether they would like to see staff tweak the existing rules in three specific areas (see panel on page A10).

“I wonder if we are just skirting the issue and avoiding the elephant in the room,” he said, “and why we would not put this on for a complete review?”

During his time as a city councilor, Anderson repeatedly expressed concerns about the impact of VRDs on residential neighborhoods.

During his 2010 campaign for mayor, he indicated he would want Council to take a fundamental look at its VRD policies within his first year in office.

The number of vacation rentals in Lincoln City has grown more than tenfold since 1989, with the community home to 340 VRDs in 2010.

Previous attempts in recent years to strike a balance between the desires of VRD operators and neighboring residents have led to lengthy Council meetings and passionate arguments on both sides.

Anderson proposed Council should get some “new blood” into the mix by setting up a committee to spend five months hashing out the issues before coming back with recommendations.

In what he described as an “editorial,” City Manager David Hawker said he feels Council’s most recent attempt to strike a balance was scuppered by a community that was unwilling to compromise.

“At that time there were two distinctive groups,” he said. “Those who favored lack of regulations of VRDs and those who opposed all VRDs. And there was no compromise to be seen.”

“I think Council could have compromised, “ he added. “I just don’t think the community would have allowed the Council to compromise.”

Both Anderson and Councilor Henry Quandt agreed there had been no sign of compromise during previous VRD debates.

“I think it keeps the whole community on edge,” Quandt said.

Nevertheless, Anderson said he would like “the elephant to be visible and dealt with.”

“I personally would be happiest if everyone in the room is angry at me for what I decide,” he said. “Because then I know I’ve touched everybody.”

Hawker advised that before committing staff, planning commissioners and Council to a time-intensive process, councilors ask whether the community still has a problem with VRDs.

“I think we do,” Anderson said, adding that he still receives a great deal of feedback on the issue.

Anderson said some VRD operators are now open to the idea of limiting VRD numbers because the volume of rentals has driven down the amount they can charge in rent.

Hawker said he will bring back some options for how Council could tackle a full review of VRD rules.

City staff requests guidance on issues

The call for a complete review of VRD rules stemmed from a staff request for guidance on three specific rental issues.

$500 minimum

Staff asked Council to eliminate a requirement that any VRD in the City must make at least $500 in rental income each year in order for the owners to retain their license.

The rule originally accompanied a proposed ordinance that would have capped the number of VRDs in particular neighborhoods and was designed to prevent anti-VRD residents buying up rental licenses and sitting on them.

However, the caps were never adopted, leaving the minimum rental requirement useless.

Planning Director Richard Townsend said seven VRDs now face losing their license for failing to reach the minimum.

By consensus, Council directed staff to draft an ordinance amendment eliminating the requirement.

Grandfathering

Staff asked whether Council would consider amending the VRD rules to exempt owners of rentals in areas that are annexed by the City from several of the standards imposed in the 2009 re-write of the VRD rules.

An exemption would allow owners of VRDs in Roads End to operate their rentals without interruption in the event that the area is brought within the city limits.

Hawker said grandfathering annexed VRDs is a “big money issue,” adding that concerns about rental restrictions might be contributing toward “legislative efforts” in Salem.

Those “efforts” include three bills that, if passed into law, would directly affect the City’s ability to annex Roads End.

Council directed Hawker to bring back a proposal on grandfathering as a priority.

Cap on guests

Staff sought guidance on whether the City should either restrict the size of VRDs or cap the number of guests allowed to stay in them.

In both cases, staff recommended limiting the measure to new VRDs only.

Townsend said that while most VRDs sleep four to eight people, some sleep 20 while one advertises that it can sleep more than 40 guests.

Council did not discuss the proposal.

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(34) comments

byebye

Hawker's comments about the community against all VRDs really frosts me. My neighborhood spent years in all and any meeting held, including work sessions of VRD issues, we graciously understood and support the grandfathering in of multiple VRDs that the city allowed outside of the prior and exsisting rules, where owners came forth and said they were lead to believe the city was allowing them to have multiple VRDs. We paid the city for renting city rooms to bring together all parties in the conversations, with our own money published and handed out reports and options.

We were so insulted by the staff and the Planning Commission in the appeal process, people sold their home and left the city, people with years of residence, with thousands of dollars so contributions.

And the upper level of the Planning Staff and Mr Hawker were acidic to any conversation any consideration of long term, local residences. Against all VRDs we were not, what we were against was the wholesale no regulation, who cares about neighborhoods of having local cheap overnight accomodations in our neighborhoods. Hawker has no idea how many people load into houses and no care for local residences.

The city allowed developers to come in build anything as big as possible anywhere they wanted, allowed the big idea of these houses were money makers both for the city and owners. And they walked away left the houses in foreclosure, reduced property values of everyone in the city.

What a joke that Hawker and the city said they tried. I sure hope the do a better job listening, planning and creating a city where we can have residential areas that are community.

Thank you City Council and Mayor Anderson for opening this up, one thing really different this time, is the council has the ability to listen and make decision that will include everyone and not be just the already warmed over "we tried that" and other words I can't say on this website.

sandyfeet

The "elephant in the room" is the fact that VRD businesses are allowed in residential zones. These businesses are no different than mini-hotels and motels except that they don't have to follow the same health and safety rules that hotels/motels have to follow. And now you allude to grandfathering all the VRD's in residential Roads End when/if Roads End becomes annexed? How backwards is that? Again, you cater to the VRD owners and not the residents that live there. You see the money that can be made but at what price to quality of life? Like many areas of Lincoln City, VRD's have ruined Roads End. They do not belong in residental zones.

Copper

There's not only an elephant in the room. There's a [human] desperately rewriting the reality to distract from his gross negligence and disregard for reasonable rule of law. It takes a bold man to make such an outlandish statement of slander: "City Manager David Hawker said he feels Council’s most recent attempt to strike a balance was scuppered by a community that was unwilling to compromise." Even bolder to claim the legislation now being considered in Salem is due to the potential of VRD privileges being altered. Remember those water rights, Mr. Hawker? I imagine you might wish the citizens of this city had the memory of a good binge on Vodka. The merry band of city managers trying to romp their way over the rights of reasonable, law abiding citizens is finished. History does repeat itself. All things balance out for the GOOD of all. Thank you Mayor Anderson for keeping the conversation relevant.

Copper

Scupper.

Not a seafaring sailor, I had to look this word up. I learned it refers to the vents cut in walls for the drainage of water. As in ships with the gaps at deck level to allow seawater from large waves to wash off the decks.

The irony of Mr. Hawker's choice of words. Rightly so the citizens of this city "SCUPPERED" Mr. Hawker's "most recent attempt to strike a balance."

When that much... er... stuff... overflows the decks of reasonable people, one hopes there's a scupper cut in the wall to allow such filth to drain off before it infects the goodness of a place.

Keep on scupperin' folks!

vango

Congratulations to Mr. Hawker who is correct in his statement respective to two sides that would or could not compromise. Why would those who “favored lack of regulation of VRDs” want to compromise when you have a Planning Department that continues to violate the Ordinances in favor of this group?

Regarding Mr. Townsend proposing to reduce the number of cars allowed at a VRD which theoretically would reduce the number of people staying there, but does not make it retroactive, here we go again with Grandfathering. By the way, which Department determines how many cars can be parked at a VRD? The ordinance clearly states one car per bedroom, but somehow this is now being interpreted as just a guideline.

Also, according to the ordinance triple stacking of parking is not allowed; however, the cars in the garage are not to be counted. Gee, open the garage doors and if you see two cars behind you, lo and behold you are triple stacked.

Consequently, the number of people renting a VRD continues to expand as more and more cars are allowed to be parked at a VRD. And keep in mind that as stated this will not apply to any previous VRDs, this parking problem will not solve the mess that we find in what once was called a “neighborhood” as it will be business as usual.

Regarding the number of guests and what it states on the Internet as to how many the VRD can accommodate for sleeping, does this really appear to have any restriction on the number of people actually ensconced there? This very question has been asked many times over the past years only to receive a response that “we have no way of monitoring this.”

Yes, the parking and number of “guests” is not a new phenomenon to Lincoln City.

The suggestion of forming a VRD committee is a very good one; however, it will fail just like all other attempts to bring some “reason” to this problem unless we have in place a Planning Department that will uphold and honor the law without changing it for someone else’s satisfaction or benefit without following proper channels. And, it will apply to all VRDs!

I could go on as the situation we now find ourselves in has continued to worsen over the years because of lack of following the rules and refer you to the comment below from ByeBye. However, I will state the following to those responsible for what this city has become-It is too late for you to start playing the role of “good cop”.

PennyP

Interesting thought, Hmmmm... I like your term "Bullying Cockpit" although I always have thought of Hawker as the Weasel. But perhaps he is a concocter as well. I say let him try out for the Theatre West rendition of Harry Potter.... anything to get his rear end out of office. Let's see if his Water "Trump Card" plays as well in the make believe world. Oh, I wish we could just click our heels three times and say "No more bullies, No more bullies, No more Hawker!"

Hmmmmm

Actually PennyP, This "VRD Thing" is like what Councilman Ellingson said a few years back, "It's a greek tragedy". I, kinda think, he was referring to the story about the "Little boy who cried wolf".

Susanw

Actually Hmmmmm, if you bothered to ask Councilman Ellingson what he meant, you might be surprised, but it certainly isn’t what you are throwing out there .
 
You are correct in your assessment regarding the Planning Director not following the Ordinance and his Supervisor, the City Manager allowing him to get away with it.  It certainly has made a mess of our neighborhoods which are the back bone of any tourist City.  They contribute to our city: the “guests” do not.
 
Not all VRDs can be painted with one brush…we, who have been called anti-VRD support VRDs that follow the Ordinance. They are neighbors who primarily live in their home and only rent occasionally. We also support the Scruttons because they have made a positive difference in their neighborhood. If all the property managers worked as hard as they do, there certainly would be fewer problems.

However, for every full time VRD in a residential zone, there is no neighbor in that house...only constant strangers. Widows and retiree's, who bought purposefully into R-1 zones have no one they can turn to if they need a cup of sugar or someone to help them locate their missing dog. Full time VRDs violate neighborhoods! So much so that many tourist cities are banning them.

We can't support the VRD businesses that have driven out affluent neighbors who supported charities and local businesses year around. We can't support higher taxes we must ALL pay because VRDs artificially elevate property taxes. We do support city workers who can't afford to live in Lincoln City because Business VRDs have elevated the costs of living inside Lincoln City. We can't support the extra cost of police and other services because the VRD guests feel they have the right to party and park in the street, even if it means emergency vehicles cannot pass by. For those who think it is merely a parking or garbage problem...you are dead wrong!

Ten years ago, we had neighborhoods, but because the Ordinance directing the owner to be the primary occupant has been ignored, business VRDs jumped in.  Few want to live next door to a house filled with multiple..up to 50 different strangers on vacation week after week, which do things they wouldn’t do in their own neighborhoods.

Do you want to live next door to one knowing that the owner owner only cares about paying for his/her mortgage, taxes, up keep and if you can't sleep...it's not their fault because they can't control the people to whom they rent?  Think about it....it IS more than a "VRD thing".
 

byebye

Hawker seems to think that "Crop Circle" solution he and Townsend came up with was the solution. Therefore since the city council, at the time, could not figure it out, let alone those of us who live in the city, nor the VRD owners. Rather than admit it was not understandable, workable or something the staff certain could could not figure out, he say there was no agreement. Yes, there was the agreement was that was a lame and complicated approach.

I think there is some truth to HUMMMMMM's writing about the problem really is the ordinance and the obvious way it is written and interpreted to frustrate everyone and the cities enability or don't care in upholding it. If you can't write a logical simple tree ordinance, what makes you think they can write a straight forward, clear policy statement about what the city stands for and clear language of what is a parking spot let alone define accessory. The ordinance could read like a bank loan, clear obvious numbers, penalties and definitions. There has been no will to be clear, failure to have a policy driven ordinance that everyone understands and can live with. But then we would not be able to pay the on contract City Attorney more and more money to cloud the issues and lead us into more and more confusion and rewrites and meetings etc.

City Council set the policy and hold the staff and contractors we tax payers pay to create clear specific language. Forget fining the VRD owners, fine the staff for failure to perform, we sure pay them enough to expect something more than the trash we have now, we had before that they did not uphold and please lets get this nailed and move on.

byebye

oh yes and when the staff have been fined for failure to perform, be clear etc, they will have the right to appeal, $50 for each issue, $100 for the first issue, they will have five minutes to present their case and we will have an unbiased, untrained, uncaring committee to determine if the fine is too small.

Hmmmmm

Dear Susanw, let’s take it by the issues:
I'm going to disregard the phrase "throwing out there".
The neighborhoods are my main concern. This is a tourist town. It's a resort. That's "guests" which drives Lincoln City's economy. I do not have a VRD nor do I want one, but I have VRD's on both sides of my property and several in the area. I have not had any problems with them. In fact, I have made friends with people from all over the world which have stayed here and come back each year. It's neat; they stop in and say "Hi". Additionally, I have seen that the VRD’s do more to promote Lincoln City, as a tourist destination, than the VCB. The owners are from all over the world and have access to more visitors.
You're quite right "Not all VRD's can be painted with one brush“ and those that follow the ordinance are the ones, I want in my neighborhood. That being said, The VRD ordinance needs work. There are some issues that should not be there and perhaps some that need a little twist.
The "guests in VRD's" do contribute to the economy. The people who own VRD's have made an investment in Lincoln City just like the home owners. That investment provides an assortment of jobs and businesses for Lincoln City.
Think of it this way. The jobs in construction for building, remodeling, maintenance, architects, engineers, contractors, craftsman, materials suppliers, etc.. These are better paying jobs than the resort industry can provide. The resort industry is like the "Fast food industry". It creates a substantial amount of entry level, low paying, part time and seasonal jobs. Not to mention businesses, like restaurants, food suppliers, real estate, doctor ,lawyers and probably throw in an Indian Chief, and down the chain that benefit from the higher paying jobs. The VRD owners, I have seen, have spent plenty to provide a wonderful home to stay in and the locals of the neighborhood have benefitted along with the neighborhood by the jobs associated with VRD’s.
Those property managers that don't work hard aren't going to have a job. It's as simple as that.
Strangers in the VRD’s, did you ever think of saying “Hi”.
I do not know how to respond to Full time VRD's, but, I have not seem a Full time VRD.
That statement about banning VRD's in many Cities is a can of worms. Many Cities have a larger population and quite a diverse economic base. Lincoln City has neither and many logistical problems, as well as, social problems. Those Cities that ban them may have seen the complications with VRD’s and said, “Maybe not”. I don’t think Lincoln City has a choice.
I disagree with your analysis that VRD's have driven off affluent neighbors out of Lincoln City, They have left at the right time and have become more affluent.
The rest of your communication, I have great empathy for you and others. YES, there is a tax problem and much more, but it is not the VRD's, nor is the VRD’s a forum for those concerns.

aveylou

"You cannot eat an elephant in one bite"! Take your time, Mr. Anderson. Give this newly adopted ordinance time to season. I do not think we need another "stampede" in city council chambers for the next two years. Let it lie. Let's focus on positive energy in this community. Let's not open the wound and stir up the polarizing behaviors. This is a time to come together for the benefit of all.

rogson

I believe "Neighborhood's" has been everyone's concern~ Especially with the
Big Boom of VRD's in R-1 Zones in the last several year's.
Everyone know's
that Tourism is vital to the Economy of Lincoln City The Guest's are Welcome
here surely. But what happen's when the Guest's go home? We rely on Local's
to help pull us through during slow season's. The "Saturation" of VRD's in
R-1 Zone's has been the root of the problem. I have witnessed Resident's
fighting to keep atleast "Some" of their neighborhood intact, only to be
fallen on deaf ears. So with that said, ~ Resident's have moved else where.
When the Guest's go home, we have a Ghost Town Situation going on.
This is about the City paying attention to it's Zoning Law's, and about
the "Saturation" of Businesses in R-1 Zones, (Residential).

Again, this is not about being Anti Tourist ------ It is about Zoning Law's.
And the "Saturation of Businesses in Residential Zones~
..................................................................................................................

I say... it is time to take on the Elephant in the room once and for all.


Hmmmmm

ByeBye, your right on and that kind of regulation you expressed, needs to be adopted. I see it may be a topic in the near future.
The regulations and licensing, so far have, been successful in many cases. There is one catch, I’m aware that there are approximately 6000 single family homes in Lincoln City. I asked how many are owned as a second home. The answer was a shocking 68%, that’s 4100 homes and there are only 330 VRD’s. Lincoln City has a huge rental market, I wonder if that is getting confused with VRD’s and second homes maybe a problem, also.
Why I say that, at the time, no one knew where the VRD’s were located. nor how many? Can you recognize a VRD when you see it?

Hmmmmm

Rogson, Are you aware that there are approximately 6000 single family homes in Lincoln City. I asked how many are owned as a second home. The answer was a shocking 68%, that’s 4100 homes and there are only 330 VRD’s. Lincoln City has a rental market, I wonder if that is getting confused with VRD’s and second homes maybe a problem, also.
Why I say that, at the time, no one knew where the VRD’s were located. nor how many? Can you recognize a VRD when you see it?
Many VRD owners use their homes when it is not rented even in the “Ghost time”, as you referred to it.
I think the City would like nothing more than have the second homes filled with bodies. I know the local businesses do too.

sandyfeet

This is not a debate about tourism. It's a debate about quality of living for those that call residential neighborhoods their home.
Some of these residents have had enough with the proliferation of VRD businesses and want to move but can't sell their homes due to the economy. Let's hope Lincoln City can figure it out because when the economy does return, more residents could be moving away, replaced with more VRD's, thus destroying our residential neighborhoods that much further.

Susanw

Dear Hmmmmm,

Thank you for the thoughtfulness in your letter; I will try to respond to some of the most important issues you pointed out; don't want to put anyone to sleep!

My point regarding Councilman Ellingson and your “throwing” or “putting your theory out there” could possibly let people think your assumptions might have merit to it. That's how rumors start and I don't deal well with assumptions or rumors; I believe in sticking to facts.

I agree with you regarding your analogy of the VCB.

If every house in our area (I can no longer call it a neighborhood) wanted a VRD under the current enforced Ordinance, we'd be having a relaxed retirement and our neighborhood would be a whole and an inviting place to live. Tragically, we have neighbors that take their family to Cannon Beach for a “restful” vacation because our neighborhood is so uninviting during high season thanks to these business VRDs.

Our definition of a full time VRD is one where the owner rarely or never stays in their house; it is either commercially rented or it is advertised on the Internet as empty with instructions how to find it and what assets it contains. It is solely a business...a hole in the neighborhood chain...too many of these types of holes create a VRD Village of unmanaged motels with no neighbors left. It becomes a commercial zone without the benefit of the law calling it that.

If you read the letter from byebye, their neighborhood had the same experience as ours; many neighbors were “forced” out because of VRD businesses and how calloused the City treated their concerns. One departing couple had planned to donate a Boys and Girls Club to the City. We have spoken with close to a hundred former homeowners in the last 8 years who left solely because of VRD businesses. My statement regarding affluent neighbors being driven out was not an analysis; it was based on facts.

You are also incorrect stating they became more affluent after they moved; many lost money just to obtain a peaceful, secure neighborhood. Which should have been their right in a residential zone...that IS what zones are created for, right?

Yes, this is a tourist town, but that doesn't mean residentially zoned neighborhoods can be or should be prostituted. Other tourist towns protect their citizens who contribute to the local economy year round. There are several zones that allow full time VRD businesses; nice ones with views, on the ocean, on the lake and on the bay. If people want to rent more than the Ordinance specifies, that is where they should have purchased like AveyLou did. Her VRD status is secure.

Right now, Lincoln City does not have a resort feel. We don't have many neighborhoods that look inviting to the coveted affluent crowd other tourist towns are competing over. Why? One guess.

You feel banning VRDs like many tourist Cities are doing, is a can of worms. The two most recent cities to do this from my research is Seaside, Oregon and Cannon Beach, Oregon. Pacific County (Long Beach, Washington.) currently has a moratorium on VRDs. All three locations depend on tourists to survive. But they have the wisdom to support their residential neighborhoods, their zoning laws and their hospitality sector.

You argue the locals benefit by having jobs at VRDs. Many were laid off at higher paying jobs with benefits from the motels/hotels that are now suffering because they can't financially compete with the glut of VRD owners that don't pay for commercial insurance, hasn't procured a commercial mortgage for rental use, that don't comply by ADA standards, that don't pay commercial water rates, that don't pay for commercial lodging licenses, that don't go through health inspections, etc., etc. VRDs raise property values so they can no longer live in the city where they work; their children can't stay for after school activities because there is only one school bus heading in the direction of Otis and Rose Lodge.

You wrongly assumed that we don't say “Hi” to VRD guests. We've invited many into our home. In fact, we had several long talks with some very nice people from a tourist ski town in Idaho. Their advice to us, was to make sure VRDs weren't allowed in our neighborhood. They booked their VRD on the Internet and were amazed to find VRDs were still allowed in residential zones in Lincoln City. Had they known, they would have rather booked a motel room to support the neighborhoods. They said it took them years to reclaim their neighborhoods from VRDs, but it was finally being done; that conversation took place about 4 years ago.

You are pretty good at spinning numbers, but you are comparing apples to oranges. Of the 6000 homes in Lincoln City, how many are within 800' of the ocean, the bay or the city owned portion of the lake that have frontage or views? Then subtract the number of houses that are in commercial/mixed use zones. Now compare the 330 licensed VRDs with the net number of affected houses to gain a true picture of the impact these VRDs are having in a limited amount of space.

One last thing; our Ordinance could use some tweaking, but I think if you read it in depth, you will find, IF it is enforced, (and that's the operative word), it will work right now to keep balance in the City. Originally, wiser men wrote it than the fools who are now breaking it.


Hmmmmm

Dear SusanW,
Your last blog was right on. That’s the kind of debate reasoning that should be given to the public. I didn’t fall asleep.
Yes, some of the VRD’s, many in selected areas have become obnoxious. I think we are in agreement that the “Business VRD’s” or “full time VRD’s”, as you defined, have and are changing the single family residential neighborhoods. It’s inexcusable.
The character of the neighborhood is my prime concern. The ordinances, such as parking, demonstrated by the Schults VRD, shows a problem that crosses the line between VRD’s and all single family residences. The front yards of single family residences should not be paved parking lots. The ordinance for parking as interpreted by the planning, is not correct for any single family residence. A single family residence should have a driveway or access point through which the on-site parking accesses the site. Usually it is no more than 20’wide at the edge of street or curb line. Not half the lot frontage. (example: !00’ lot 50’ of paving that’s five cars lined up)That sure changes the character of the single family neighborhood. There are several homes where the cars line up across the front yard and they are not VRD’s. It’s become a culture and no the code can’t be enforced because of the interpretation.
I think we are very much in agreement with the impact the commercial VRD’s have on the neighborhood.
Perhaps there should be two kinds of VRD’s. If they are in commercial zones is one kind. If they are in residential they should not change or have any impact on the character of the neighborhood. That’s easier said than done. My hope it will be debated with the City in the near future.
I fear that the individual VRD owner respecting the neighborhood and complying with the ordinance will be replaced with planned unit developments getting all the VRD’s or an outright rule of No VRD’s in residential neighborhoods. That bothers me.
The argument that the locals benefit from VRD’s is confusing. Those VRD owners who respect the ordinance and the neighborhood are the ones , I feel sorry for. A prime example is Aveylou, as you pointed out. I know several others that are wondering how this VRD Thing is going to play out.
Since we agree on the definition of ”Full time VRD’s, the remarks are justified about the commercial use of a VRD in a single family residential neighborhood, but how do we distinguish it. The VRD’s I know are available all the time, but are not rented all the time, not even half the time.
I’m sorry, about the “Hi”. It wasn’t appropriate.
I wasn’t trying to spin numbers. I am shocked that Lincoln City has 68% of the single family homes are owned as second homes. That to me shows a big problem.
Let’s see if we can tweak things together. Thank you.

Susanw

Thank you Hmmmm, it would be an honor to work together with you for the betterment of the residential neighborhoods which are the proven lifeblood of any tourist city. I am so relieved you didn’t fall asleep! My passion can sometimes make me a little long winded.

Your hope for a public debate is about to happen. Unfortunately, I don’t know your identity or your contact information to give you further information. Are your initials B. C. by any chance?

FYI, the Ordinance already differentiates between a commercial VRD and a residential zone VRD; Mr. Townsend just doesn’t follow the Ordinance or makes executive decisions to change the meaning. If he did follow it, the Schultz’s wouldn’t have had a prayer for a VRD license in a residential zone. Mr. Townsend’s supervisor, City Manager David Hawker is responsible for Mr. Townsend’s actions.

Hmmmmm

SusanW, I think we both have a "passion" for what is best for Lincoln City.
Thanks B.C.

Susanw

Hmmmm

I'm having trouble finding your contact information, even though I know your full name and age now. Help!

aveylou

I agree with most of you as it relates to businesses in R-1 zones. I think the main issue here might be a serious look at our existing outdated zones. Much of the zoning was done in this city many years ago. As this city's population has grown, the current zones may not make sense any longer. The purpose of zoning is to identify uses in areas for "highest and best use". I do not think it makes a lot of sense to have R-1 zones on the oceanfront or one and two rows back in a tourist area. I think these zones need to be more "inclusionary". When you come to a tourist town and buy a home on the oceanfront or one to two streets back from the ocean; I think you are not being realistic to think these areas are going to be single-family residential neighborhoods only.

If they are strictly single-family residential then, due to economics, they can only be owned by wealthy people. Then your R-1 zone on the oceanfront and one to two rows back becomes exclusionary. That means only the wealthy can own in these zoned areas. Is this what we want in Oregon?

I like the idea of mixed use and "inclusionary" zoning. It is becoming the accepted approach for the future of many of our cities, nationwide. Yes, "Times...they are a changin!" When you have "exclusionary" zoning, you create slums in some areas and "exclusive" areas in other areas. If you want to live in a "exclusively" zoned neighborhood...Lake Oswego, Mountain Park, Planned Unit Developments, Cascade Head Ranch....are some choices.

Lincoln City may need to take a long, hard look at their zoning. There may need to be some changes; especially if the market is dictating the use for a particular area.

I believe in a free market. I also believe the government needs to either stay out of the market and stop manipulating what is naturally happening in an area or pay attention to what the market is telling them and zone and write ordinances that are compatible with the "highest and best use" for a particular area and zone. Oceanfront, Lake Front, Ocean View, Lake View, Bay front, Bay View will always be where people want to stay when they come to the mighty Pacific!

When I came to Lincoln City looking for property, I wanted lake front; I wanted a Residential Multiple Zone, to build a tri-plex (in order to supplement my income) so I could retire in a beautiful place in comfort. I built my building to commercial code and I followed all the rules. I was sent an application for a business license from the city at the conclusion of my project. I was considered a "business" in a residential zone from day one. I think VRD's should be allowed outright in RM zones....these zones are considered businesses, right?

I agree, R-1 zones should remain residential single-family only. CC&R's can stipulate uses. When developers develop subdivisions, they can write into the CCR restrictions, right? So, when you buy....check your CC&R's and buyer beware! Do your due diligence! Understand the zones and the zones around you...then you will have no surprises.

Hmmmmm

Aveylou, I like your response. Most of the VRD’s are in the areas of, why people come to Lincoln City for, the beach, oceanfront. You’re right on, that those areas are not going to be single family residential neighborhoods, ONLY, like they may have been.
As, I see it. This “VRD Thing” is kind of like “crying over spilled milk”. I’m tired of this haranguing VRD’s and so are the people of Lincoln City. Let’s move on and work together to make this City even better.
That being said, there is so much that can be done to make the zoning ordinances and municipal code work together that makes all those single family residential areas better.
The question to ask is: How do we solve it and help the neighborhoods? I don't think we can go back to no VRD's in residential neighborhoods, but we can have the neighborhoods become much better.
For instance:
The parking ordinance for single family homes in residential neighborhoods should be: All residential homes shall have a driveway or access point no larger than 20 feet wide measure at the property line along the street frontage and all on-site parking to access that point entering and leaving on an individual bases, except for tandem parking. Circular driveway access shall be limited to two, 10 foot driveways with appropriate vehicular turning radius.
Now we have a parking ordinance that solves the parking problem for all of the residential single family lots in Lincoln City and code enforcement, in a nice way, can nudge those that don't meet the code and VRD's have to meet the code or they don't get a license.
The new parking ordinance, also works for the front yards landscaping. None of this shoe horning in the parking spaces because the car have to use the driveway access point and be able to come and go without playing musical cars, except for the ones in the garage., if there is a garage or tandem parking.
IT, also limits the amount of parking which limits the amount of bedrooms needed for VRD's which limits the VRD's in residential neighborhoods.
The City has proposed to cut the size of VRD's. I agree with doing this. I feel a VRD that sleeps over 8 people in residential neighborhood should be in a commercial zone. Eight people, that’s four cars parking or 4 bedrooms. With a correct parking on-site ordinance, it may be hard to get over 4 cars on most of the residential lots. See how this proposed parking ordinance works together with the VRD ordinance.
Let’s stop playing games and reason this out making Lincoln City the best place on the Oregon Coast.

amytay

I just got back from our house in Lincoln City, where we love to spend time. We have had our VRD for 8 or 9 years now, I think. I believe that I am a neighbor of SueW

We couldn’t afford to own our house without our permit, and besides being able to keep it, we’ve maintained and improved it. I have managed it very responsibly. We’ve never had a legitimate complaint (years ago there was a renter next door who wanted our house empty so that her dog could use our yard as a toilet, but we won in mediation). Many houses are for sale on the street, and many sit empty…. It’s crazy to think what would happen if they barred vacation rentals. What a disaster for the economy. Besides the thousands that we pay in lodging tax and fees to the City each year, our guests spend many thousands more in the community. A quick scan of our guest book with prove that. Our guests are predominantly families, and they simply wouldn’t make the trip to stay in three hotel rooms.

I think it would be nice, in return for all I've responsibly contributed to the community, if the City would reach out with a little PR. Let's get some facts on the table. How many houses would go into foreclosure? What value do you think VRD guests bring into the community each year? I would put that number in the many millions.

Susanw

Aveylou....Let me see if I have your “theory” correct. You believe that “wealthy people”, the intelligent people who are proven leaders and have taken supreme business risks, the people who work 90 hour or longer weeks, the people who can effectively support the local merchants, the people who donate to local charities and good Samaritan projects with their time and their money, the people that can afford to buy from our local artists, the people who invite their likewise wealthy friends to visit them, the people who bought expensive houses supporting you when you were a realtor, the people who sacrificed dinners out, movies and vacations to live their dream, should not have a right to live in a secure neighborhood on or near the ocean in Lincoln City?

That more vacation rentals should be allowed when there are already too many in competition, not only with each other, but with the faltering hotels and motels who can’t compete with their lack of regulation and low cost per person when 20 penny pinching guests cram themselves into a 2 bedroom house?

If so, take a gander at what our sister cities are doing. They are banning VRDs in residential zones so these very same people you would give no rights to, will come to support their cities year round.

You purposely purchased in a Residential Multiple Zone to build your income producing triplex; one of which is a VRD. Then you advise “understand the zones and the zones around you…then you will have no surprises”. Would you be surprised if a 24/7 tavern suddenly appeared on one side of you and a tar manufacturing company moved in on the other side?

We purposely purchased 21 years ago in a R-1 zone so we could retire in a cohesive, friendly and secure neighborhood which we enjoyed until about 8-9 years ago when VRD businesses took it upon themselves to ignore the Ordinance and zoning laws and wiped out many of our neighbors for their own financial gain.
Surprise, surprise.

Susanw

Hmmmmm, Just for your information, Aveylou and Amytay are both members of a recently formed group who are organizing VRD businesses to change the Lincoln City laws that all but Aveylou, have already broken. They have this article on their web site so you will probably be hearing more from this faction.

I believe the “haranguing” as you call it, will come to an end when laws are reviewed by the current council and are either enforced or clearly rewritten. We are committed to abide by whatever this council decides because every one of them is strong, trustworthy and cares about the City's future. We too, are tired of trying to protect our rights of security and our home.

The “old” zoning laws were placed on the same amount of land as we have now; and it was written to provide balance and will continue to do so if followed. The Ordinance was also written to provide balance.

Your parking ordinance proposal has merit. Too bad it wasn’t submitted 10 years ago.

Neighborhoods for years have tried to get Planning to put a cap on occupants in VRDs in residential zones, but Planning says it can’t be done. Their answer was, “Who’s going to go VRD to VRD to count noses? The VRD owners can have the best intentions in the world, but unless they are on site themselves to “count noses” like the Scruttons do, this requirement won’t be enforced either. We have seen 20 people inhabit that aforementioned 2 bedroom VRD multiple times. They noisly walked to the beach at all times of the night, but their cars never moved meaning they didn’t go out to eat or to shop......they only added to the owner's wealth and detracted from the neighbor's sleep.

aveylou

Susan,

Let me help set your record straight. I am not a member of any group or faction. I realize you are passionate and emotional about this subject. I did not say "the wealthy" do not deserve to live on or near the beautiful Oregon coastline. What I did say was: "All of us need a chance to live near the water, not just the wealthy!" If you do the numbers, figure out how much per month you would need to earn in order to have a home in the valley and a beach house at the ocean that you only come to once in awhile!

I have worked just as hard and sacrificed just as much as anyone....and I am not wealthy. I am a single woman who has been "rowing her own boat" for over 35 years, since the death of my husband.

In order to live here, I had to figure a way to produce income. I designed and general-contracted my special place on this planet. And in doing so, I bring visitors into Lincoln City who spend dollars here. I refer them personally to businesses all around the area. I am a part of the community and I give back.

Yes, I have a VRD license, because I had to! In order to rent one of the units in my building by the day (as a B & B with onsite manager---ME!) I had to get a VRD license because it had a full kitchen. It is really a B and B! But because of the rules, I have to do both! All on one RM 14,000 sq. ft. tax lot wih six parking spaces on site for only four bedrooms, built to commercial code with firewalls, etc.! Go figure???? I also had to have three separate addresses even though I have only one water meter. I could not have one address with Units A, B, and C. There are many buildings around town with one address and units numbered or lettered.

So you see, we all have dificulties. "It's not the hand you are dealt that makes a difference; it is how you play it that really counts." I applaud you for your passion. You certainly are bringing the issues to the table! I am entitled to my opinion and I am also entitled to attempt to abide by the rules and attempt to keep my head above water in this difficult economy. If you want to refer people to a quiet, well managed place on the lake; I suggest you send your friends my way! It is PEACEFUL here.

I encourage you to speak your mind. You have just as much right to your opinion, as I to mine. We can agree to disagree on some things. I understand your desire to live in a peaceful place. Let's make sure VRD's follow the rules for behavior and let's make sure they are punished for breaking the ordinance. I think the ordinance was well-crafted as it pertains to garbage, noise, numbers of people allowed, numbers of cars onsite, etc. I do not agree with everything in the ordinance, but then I realize I do not live in a perfect world. I make the best of difficult situations in order to have PEACE in my life. Mr. Novak seems to be doing a fine job. Let the ordinance have time to season.

rogson

This Forum has proven to be an Excellent place to aire
out what is on everyone's mind. Be it the Resident living in an R~1
Zone, surrounded by no neighbors, with Vacation Rentals all around
them. And or the Actual Business Owner, looking to invest in
a Property, paid for by Renting out the Place as a Vacation Rental.
An easy selling point for a Realtor as well.
Yes, times change, and not being either a VRD Owner, or a
Resident surrounded by Businesses in an R-1 Zone, I truly
feel that the City broke Zoning Law's by "Allowing" the Saturation
of Businesses in an R-1. I Also believe, that an Ocean View Property
should not only be for Vacation Rental Investors. Yes, it is a Tourist
Town, everyone realises that. Everyone understands the importance.
But, I also believe we should not lose sight on how important the
Residents that reside here are either. There needs to be at the
very least, a "Happy Medium", without being called Anti-Tourist,
Anti-Business. I do not know how many times I have heard that.
And how many time's I have stated it on this Forum, I have lost
count. This Forum is allowing everyone to aire their frustrations
of either living amidst Businesses, and or being the Business Investor
themselves. I am really hoping for Resolve for both sides.
I believe now, Our City Government will "Listen" to both sides now,
making it "Fair". Much need's to be worked out with the so called
new Ordinance which some very important verbage was left out.
"Accesory vs Primary Use.". Ahhhh..... Yes.... much to work out.
Much to work out.

Susanw

Aveylou…You posted a lengthy comment supporting the LCVHA ideals on their website dated March 1, 2011 at 12:01 AM which showed most, you are a “member”, supporter, or contributor of this organization. VRD owners that didn’t agree with their ‘principles’ threw the invitation letter away or gave it to me.

You said in one of your comments to this “elephant” article, “Then your R-1 zone on the oceanfront and one to two rows back becomes exclusionary. That means only the wealthy can own in these zoned areas. Is this what we want in Oregon?” Just setting the record straight.

I am passionate about following the laws that were written by wiser people than those breaking them. And if the laws aren’t working for the general population, then they should be legally changed.

I totally support you having an income producing property because you did it legally. You found desirable waterfront property in a zone that allows you to succeed in your dream. ”. You are abiding by the rules. My point is we had a dream to retire in a neighborhood and we followed the rules, but because some people don’t abide by the rules, we are living in a nightmare. We may have to rent your place just to get some peace and quiet!!!

You need not advise me to allow the Ordinance to season since we both agree on this. I am on record as supporting the current Ordinance if it is enforced. So far it hasn’t been but we have hope that will change. FYI, each new Ordinance only applies to VRD applications from the time of approval forward. Most VRDs have no rules. There is also no rule pertaining to the number of people allowed to inhabit one. Unfortunately, even if that happens, Planning doesn’t have the resources to enforce it.

Have a great evening!

Copper

I'm not wealthy, yet I live within two blocks of the beach. How can this be?
Who let me slip through the cracks of the rich kids' club?

Wait. It was 2002. Recent national tragedy. Market bottomed out.
Holy cow. I might be a profiteer.

Be sure to let the "families" know times have changed. Residential zones are outdated. Much like another group of "permanent residents" in our nation's history... time to relocate family R-1 zones to someplace less intrusive to business.

amytay

“I personally would be happiest if everyone in the room is angry at me for what I decide,” he said. “Because then I know I’ve touched everybody.”

Make people angry? This is not a good or progressive strategy. There are already plenty of divisive feelings in the world, how about we discuss rationally? I'm just sayin'.

amytay

SusanW, surely you're not saying that I broke the law?

from your post

>>>>>>Just for your information, Aveylou and Amytay are both members of a recently formed group who are organizing VRD businesses to change the Lincoln City laws that all but Aveylou, have already broken. <<<<<

Susanw

Amy,
Would suggest you look closely at the application you originally signed. It will give you the answer.

Seafairy53

Wow! I am pretty much shocked with all the arguments going on with the VRDs. I have had my second home for about 8 years, and have used it as a VRD for about 5 years. I have NEVER had a complaint from any one. I am a single disabled senior and have worked very hard to keep my home in excellent condition, and also work very hard to make the payments and taxes.
Times have changed. Our economy is extremely poor right now. I am still pretty ticked off that all of a sudden when I had to re-new my permit, there were new charges being called a business license. I do not run a business, if you do, normaly the state of Oregon requires an application to run a business. I own a home, that is my home, and I choose to stay there and try to rent it out when I can to help with the mortgage and maint costs.
I am surprised that any one that wants to live at the coast would even consider complaining about vacation rentals. People love the beach, many love LC. It does not matter if our visitors stay in a hotel, motel or vacation rental,or camp ground, they bring lots and lots of business and money to LC. The taxes that we as owners collect and send in support the point exactly. If people who live at the beach have problems with tourists, extra cars, more people, then they shoud not be living at the beach. During the peak season, town is very busy, very crowded, it is a tourist town and I welcome the lovely people that have stayed at my home and always offer advice as to where to shop, eat etc.The people that rent our homes bring BIG BUCKS to Lincoln city.
If there is a bad apple in the bunch, then deal with that. Why all the comotion and emotion??? With the bad economy I rarely rented my home at all last year. This year thus far I have had one rental.
My house was valued at around $500 K. I have remodled and invested a ton to make it a lovely place. Several months ago I contacted a realtor about selling and was told that it is now valued at approx $189K furnished. But... our taxes have not decreased. I pay for trash, yard care , pest control,TV, power, water , sewer, insurance, gas no matter what, rented or not. I think this whole issue of control and demand is crazy. Leave the VRD's owners alone to try and do what they need to do to keep and enjoy their own homes. If there are any more cost or demands I will definately lose my home.
I turned mine over to a vacation rental company that does an excellent job, but also pay 30% plus other fees. If a person built a big house that sleeps 30 so what? Mine sleeps 1 or 10. I also allow pets because so many families love their pets. Are there not enough foreclosures in LC now? People are hurting. I think that as long as the VRD owners are taking care of their homes, keeping up with the rules, leave us alone !!! I would think that the city counsel and city officials would be pleased to bring more tourist to town, pleased to have lovely homes where families can come together and enjoy themselves. I would be happy to join this group and fight for our rights to use our homes as we see fit. Sorry for rambling, but I personally feel that the VRD owners are being taken for a ride. We have invested a great deal in our homes. My personal request for a reduction of property taxes was pretty much ignored. My home has depreciated more than $300K. I am pretty sick about it,, but I am still paying. I would still like to know how the extra funds for the " business license" came about with no notification to me at all until it was time to pay. I dis-agree with more fees and all the control and worry that is being put on the VRD owners. A rental house is NOT a business. I am sure that if we do not stand up to this insanity, we will be forced to pay more and more while our property values continue to decline and our property taxes continue to rise. How about just working things out and give us a break.

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