CORRECTION: Next City Council Meeting on VRD’s February 10, 6pm, City Halll
City planners and residents are still chewing on the one of the longest running public debates in the history of the city, second only, perhaps, to setting the hotel and motel room tax rates. In this case it’s Vacation Rental Dwellings, or VRD’s – where should they be located, where should they be banned and how to make vacationers behave themselves when they rent them.
For years there have been sorrowful tales of VRD renters making too much noise, leaving trash around, parking anywhere they want, including on neighbors lawns in some cases – generally making life miserable for regular residents of the neighborhoods.
Enforcement of proper respect for the neighbors has reached a higher level but so has the number of new VRD’s throughout the city. To that end the city council is trying to develop new placement and operational regulations on VRD’s. The city planning commission took a look at a number of VRD controls
but pretty much settled on what a community-wide citizens committee came up with last year: A map of the city where certain sections allow VRD’s and certain sections that don’t allow VRD’s. Those areas deemed a “yes” zone can accept new applications for VRD’s while no new applications can be filed in “no” zones. Those who have a VRD in a “no” zone can continue being a VRD, but the right to have it “grandfathered-in” as a VRD has a limit. Once sold, the home goes back to being a private home with no VRD privileges.
On that last point City Attorney Richard Appacelli says ending the VRD designation in “no” zones is not something for which the property owner can sue the city and be compensated for the lost income. Appecelli said state law bars such lawsuits because Measure 49 pertains only to residential use, not commercial. And VRD’s are a commercial use, aka “motel.” Therefore reverting a residence back to the status of pure residential use is not protected under Measure 49. For further information on Measure 49 and it’s effects click here.
Along with the above provisions, a number of other regulations were agreed to, and are on their way to the city council for their consideration and adoption are:
* VRD’s within a “yes” zone have no limits on the number of days a year a home can be rented out.
* VRD’s within a “no” zone have a 180 day limit on the number of days a year a home can be rented out.
* Relaxation of any special landscaping requirements
* Eliminate parking requirements, although spillover parking will have to part in the street in regular spaces.
* Comply with health and safety standards.
* Liability insurance required.
* No multiple ownerships in a VRD.
* Violation citations can be issued to anyone connected with the VRD.
* Conditions for losing a VRD license.
* Penalties are strictly fines. NO CRIMINAL CHARGES.
These and a number of other aspects of VRD regulations from the Planning Commission will be presented to the City Council on Tuesday, February 10th, 6pm at Lincoln City City Hall.