Lincoln City City Councilors this week tackled the age old question – is someone’s right to make money prevail over someone’s right to a neighborhood.
When Roads End annexed into Lincoln City several years ago, Roads End became part of the city under their old Lincoln County land use zoning while knowing that zoning could change after five years. In year four, the city is contemplating some land use changes that may please some residents while inflaming others.
This week, predictable differences of opinion took to the microphone in front the city council – permanent residents claiming that there are already too many vacation rentals from south Logan Road to the north, while mostly business oriented folks said that the city relies very heavily on property and room taxes and oppose what they termed an arbitrary cap, limiting the number of vacation rentals (VRDs).
There were variations on the above, but it was mostly well traveled ground in the ageless battle over where do people live vs. where do they recreate.
Those opposed to adding more VRDs said there has been a glut of new VRDs approved in Roads End over the last few years and has caused a measurable decline in the quality of the neighborhood and the lives of permanent residents. Noise, garbage, parking problems – the gamut – have all increased while their quality of life has decreased, they claim. They want a reduction of VRDs through attrition.
Proponents of more VRDs maintain that the community should be more vigilant in enforcing proper use of properties as well as the behavior of those who rent them. Proponents want fewer restrictions to allow for VRD growth. Others want no cap at all – just let the market decide what’s optimal.
The council took it all in and decided to leave the written record open for a couple of weeks, after which the council will reconvene and see if they can stay on the bull as it’s likely to buck and snort throughout the meeting. It’s a tough decision to make – seeing VRDs as a money machine for the city budget or as a place for traditional neighborhoods – or dare to strike a balance – not so much for what’s best for one side or the other, but how much “negative” one side or both can live with.
The face-off at the OK Corral begins at 6pm, Lincoln City City Hall.