Lincoln City Homeless issues, City balks at parking swap, VRD ordinances move ahead, though not yet completely approved
Lincoln City City Councilors Monday night brought up the plight of hundreds of homeless persons who have to camp out in the urban wild, motels, friend’s homes, RV’s, the woods and the like. And as usual, the problem seemed to overwhelm city councilors who were told by City Manager Richard Chandler that the homeless problem has many causes – poverty, low wages, lack of affordable housing, domestic violence, physical and mental challenges, drugs, lack of transportation, lack of child care, little or no extended family support and a lack of access to services.
Chandler told the council that the city set aside $50,000 sometime back to begin to begin to address the problem but has lacked a coherent method of systematically helping individuals get out of homelessness as well as having access to the Lincoln City Food Pantry, Lincoln County Food Share, Neighbors for Kids in Depoe Bay, Senior Services and other agencies.
Chandler said that the issue will be taken up again shortly after the first of the year and that three new city councilors, elected in early November, will be weighing in with perhaps offering some new ideas or strategies for softening the impacts of homelessness.
The council voted 4 to 2 to turn down much of a proposed deal for shared parking between the city and the new Beach Club Event Center at the north end of the Community Center and Pool parking lot at 101 and 22nd. Although applicants Mike and Lila Bradley said they would be putting in nearly $200,000 worth of parking lot work and new striping to create many more parking spaces than there is now. But City Councilor Dick Anderson claimed it doesn’t change the fact that the city-owned Community Center complex will need more and more parking in that location and that extending a parking agreement with the Bradleys will, in effect, just postpone the inevitable shortage of parking spaces – not only for the community center and the pool, but also for the nearby baseball fields.
The Bradleys did not testify during the deliberations because public testimony had been closed at a previous meeting. How this decision will affect the Bradley’s plans to make the old Elk’s Lodge a center of community activity is not yet known. To be continued.
The city council also performed an introductory reading of new Vacation Rental Dwelling rules. The long list of complicated rights and restrictions have been debated in Lincoln City for the better part of six years. The final draft of VRD regulations will take place either later this month or sometime in January. The regulations seek to give regular full-time single family homeowners a break from the onslaught of noise and trashed strewn neighboring properties, as well as congested parking in single family neighborhoods. Many VRD owners will however get dramatic expansions on the number of allowed rental nights in various areas of the city. The final reading of the new vacation rental ordinance is expected to be completed in the next couple of months depending on how it all shakes out.