It looks like after a number of years of batting the ball back and forth over vacation home rentals the Lincoln City City Council is getting close to approving a long list of rules and regulations to ensure that the town enjoys the economic benefits of VRDs without putting an undue burden on regular citizens of the town – the three biggies: Trash, parking and noise.
The council Monday night began putting finishing touches on the proposed VRD rules and regulations and may actually be in a position to finalize them at their next city council meeting December 12th.
A new development emerged – that of setting a limit on the number of occupants in VRDs in residential zoned areas. Currently, there are nearly 40 VRDs just in the Roads End area alone that don’t have occupancy limits because they never had a limit put on them because they were outside the city limits. But after they annexed into the city the rules are now changing. At least that’s the direction the council took Monday night. The council instructed the city attorney to draw up a city ordinance that limits any VRD in a residentially zoned area to a maximum occupancy of 16 people – no matter when the VRD was built or was declared a VRD.
It’s long been assumed that VRDs built before June 30, 2010 were exempt from those safety provisions. Well, not anymore.
The rationale for the change is that under the state building and fire codes 16 occupants is now the limit in residential areas regardless of the number of bedrooms.
State law or not, there could be some understandably upset VRD owners in the Roads End area who could very well show up at the next city council meeting with some not-so-nice-things to say to the council. But the council’s reasoning is that it’s time to bring all residential area VRDs into compliance with state law – that all visitors to the coast deserve the same health and safety protections as those renting a newer built VRD.
The council indicated that the change in the rules wouldn’t take effect officially until early 2018 to give VRD owners time to adjust to the new occupancy limits.
These and other proposed VRD regulations are going to be brought back before the city council at their December 12th meeting for final review and likely passage.
And the council made some headway in conducting a land swap connected with the soon to be refurbished Elk’s Lodge building – to be transformed into a “Beach Club Event Center,” with stores, special events, dancing, weddings and all manner and fashion of community get-togethers.
The major ingredient at this point in Michael and Lyla Bradley’s plans for the old lodge, which they bought earlier this year, is parking. When the Elk’s Lodge was still open they shared parking with the city. And there’s plenty of it as you can see in the aerial Google photo. But if the old lodge is going to be a high level activity area, they’ve got to create more parking so the Bradley’s don’t crowd parking for those going to the community center and swimming facility.
Michael Bradley told the council that he will re-organize and restripe what is truly a lot of asphalt running from Quay, to Oar to NE 22nd. Bradley says he can add at least 135 more parking spaces throughout the block that the lodge shares with the community center. He says there should be enough for everyone. There is also an option to lease spaces from nearby businesses that aren’t usually open when special events – especially on the weekends – are in full swing. City councilors and Bradley seem to be on the same page with it.
However, consistently outspoken critic of City Hall, and Lincoln City citizen Jerry Werner threw cold water on the proceedings claiming that the land the community center and old lodge sit on was deeded to the city for park and recreational purposes only – so a special event center shouldn’t even be talked about for the site.
That gave the council and City Attorney Richard Appicello some pause. Appicello said he would research Mr. Werner’s claim but hinted that the claim probably can be easily dealt with.
So, between the Beach Club parking situation and finalizing VRD regulations, the city council’s December 12th meeting will likely be a doozey.