WEATHER IN LINCOLN COUNTY


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Lincoln City: Two years and a cloud a cloud of votes…and it’s still far from over…

VRD map with some changes as covered in the text of the story.

VR zone map (blue areas) with some changes as covered in the text of the story.

The Lincoln City City Council, minus Mayor Don Williams and Councilor Jim Davis who were city planning commissioners at the time the development of a Vacation Rental zone was being debated at their level, has voted to establish a zone where any home can be “considered” for conversion to a Vacation Rental Dwelling, or “VRD” as they’re called. They don’t have to jump through any overly complicated hoops to get “considered” for a VRD permit. But nor are they guaranteed a permit. There are specific requirements that must be met before a VRD permit is issued. But the application involves a minimum of red tape.

The new “VR” zone area (see map) is in blue from 25th to 34th, and then to 39th running west of Keel. That’s the rough boundaries. That description leaves the blue area south of 25th out of the VR zone as well as blue areas east of Keel north of 34th.

Because there are lots more VRDs around town the council recently laid out regulations for their operations. Those in non-compying areas are allowed to operate for 30 or 180 nights a year depending on certain circumstances. Other VRDs in commercially zones areas are not limited to the number of rental nights.

Those who feel they have a vested right to continue operating the way they want despite the regulations can schedule a hearing in front of the city council and make their case. If they don’t like the council’s ruling, there’s always the circuit courts.

In the meantime a pro-VRD group has appealed the city’s VRD regulations to the Land Use Board of Appeals in Salem. If either side doesn’t like the outcome, they can appeal it to the State Court of Appeals. If either side remains dissatisfied with the way things turned out at the court of appeals they can appeal to the State Supreme Court, which, if they decide to even hear the appeal, the ruling is final. At least in the state. If somebody thinks some U.S. Constitutional violation is involved, there’s the federal court route which is lengthy just like the state’s. There is also a citizens referendum on the city’s VRD rules on this May ballot seeking to overturn the city’s VRD rules.

It may take some time for this big rolling wheel to find it’s final resting spot, but not before the city gets a string of court orders and filings in the process. There’s probably a PhD in there somewhere for some bright political science graduate student who dares to tackle it.

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