After at least five years of community wrestling – if not open verbal warfare – over how best to regulate vacation home rentals (VRD), the Lincoln City City Council finally agreed Monday night to a set of regulations on how current VRD’s will be run and laying out how new VRDs will be positioned and managed throughout the community.
The long journey has badly split the community – residents complaining about VRD owners not ensuring that their properties and their guests are good neighbors in that there are continuous problems with late night noise, parties, trash and cars parked on other peoples’ properties and in the street. New regulations now address those chronic issues facing regular full-time residents – many of whom feel they’ve been losing their neighborhood and the quiet enjoyment of their own home.
The council also adopted rules limiting how many people at one time can sleep in vacation rentals – that they cannot be overflowing with people as in years gone by. The top limit is 16 people per house – but such a the VRD must have at least 5 bedrooms before 16 people can sleep over. Only real bedrooms are counted. No bunk beds in the garage anymore.
Repeated violations can coast a VRD license holder their permit.
Councilors said despite the years of wrangling, these latest rules are still very much in a “see how it goes” phase. So VRDs will likely remain regular fare before the council for some time to come.
As a footnote, Mayor Don Williams said although he respected the process and the hard work done by everybody including VRD owners, citizens, property management firms and visitors, he chided the council that under the new rules, his very large VRD property, which has a 40 seat indoor theater, will have its income cut in half based on newly adopted occupancy limits. Williams accused his fellow councilors of changing the rules to the detriment of VRD owners, himself included. The councilors listened politely but didn’t comment.
Old Elks Club Property getting a re-zone
The city council nixed a deal with Mike and Lila Bradley that would have set up a shared parking arrangement with the city’s community recreation center. The Bradleys bought the old Elks Lodge at 22nd and Oar and offered to re-stripe the huge asphalt area surrounding the community center and the lodge, hoping to work out a parking lot sharing deal. But at an earlier city council meeting, councilors admitted that the community center is requiring more and more parking just for itself without losing more to a business that the Bradleys wanted to set up inside the lodge – a Beach Club Event Center.
And apparently as a result of that observation, the Bradleys asked for and got a re-zone of their property (the lodge) for general commercial purposes that may not require so much parking as with their earlier plans for a special events venue. How all this will shake out has not been announced.
When contacted by News Lincoln County Michael Bradley said he’s still intent on making the Beach Club Event Center idea work. He said he’ll be back before the city council with some ideas in the near future.
Chester Noreikis bids the council adieu
City Councilor Chester Noreikis said his farewell to the council thanking them and others for their support in helping him to do a good job for the city. Noreikis decided to not run again for council. The council will have three new faces when it convenes again in January – Diana Hinton, Riley Hoagland and Judy Casper.