Lincoln City Mayor Dick Anderson Monday night convinced the council that he and City Manager Dave Hawker should put together a plan to solve the town’s Vacation Rental Dwelling problem once and for all. Once the plan is developed, the council would then supposedly vote with him to hire a “true professional” with experience in bringing civic feuds to a merciful end.
Shortly after being elected mayor, Anderson said he wanted to tackle the issue of VRD’s and try to heal the town. Everyone agrees that half of Lincoln City finds little wrong with VRD’s while the other half would outlaw them tomorrow. Opponents hate the fact that many VRD’s are run like single-family Spring Break Party Houses that make lots of noise, leave trash all over the place, park cars and RV’s everywhere and generally make year-round residents miserable. Although there are requirements in city law that require careful monitoring of VRD operations, many residents complain enforcement is ineffective.
VRD supporters and fence-sitters alike contend that VRD’s are good for the economy because visitors stay multiple days, buy groceries and beer as well as go out to restaurants and take in the sights. During tonight’s city council meeting several VRD owners claimed that 90% of the problem is with the management companies that run them on behalf of their owners. They said if the management companies are held accountable most of the problems would evaporate.
Mayor Anderson got the council to agree that he and City Manager David Hawker will create an approach to solving the town’s VRD dilemma. They said they will draw up a request for proposals that seek to determine who should lead Lincoln City out of it’s VRD morass. The RFP and other criteria for selecting such a person would be reviewed by the council and then put on the market. The council would eventually hire the consultant. Anderson said he believes “the answers lie within our community. We need to drop all the biases and let a third party guide discussions toward alternative ways of looking at the situation.”
However, a couple of city councilors expressed concern about the costs and how that consultant would interact and create work for city staff in conducting public meetings, drawing up alternatives and preparing a final set of recommendations to the city council whose job it would be to put it all into city law. Mayor Anderson commented that it will certainly prove to be a long tough process but with a solution at the end that most of the town can support.
So we’ll see what Mr. Hawker and Mayor Anderson come up with.