When Roads End agreed to be added to Lincoln City nearly five years ago, Roads End’s land use zoning was frozen in place for five years.
The Lincoln City City Council Monday night began to make some changes, not the least of which is getting a handle on vacation rentals – a debate that rages continuously across Oregon.
In Lincoln City, the complaint has always been that well financed Portland area residents have been snapping up homes and turning them into mini-hotels that are noisy, create parking problems, create trash and lowers the bar on what is can be expected from a neighborhood. It only takes a few to wreck it for the many.
Another complaint about VRD owners is that they reduce the amount of housing for year-round residents, already at crisis levels for low to middle income families.
Perhaps that’s what motivated the city council to finally clamp a lid on new vacation rentals in the Roads End area. Roads End currently has 194 vacation rentals “on the books,” with roughly 13 new applications pending. Many iterations of city councils have suffered through hours upon hours of complaints about problems mentioned above which is probably why they voted Monday evening to begin trimming the number of Roads End vacation rentals – from 194 to something closer to 10% of the total number of lots in Roads end – which is about 900. The math would dictate a maximum number of 90 VRDs – less than half of what exists today. And by the way, Bed and Breakfast businesses are classified as a VRDs.
But how do they get to that 10% figure? City councilors admitted that the only way to get there is through attrition. For every VRD owner who doesn’t renew their VRD license means another VRD taken off the rolls until one day – in the who-knows how far out future – Roads End will have 90 VRDs and the folks who live there permanently will enjoy living in a real neighborhood rather than a mini-hotel district.
Now that’s the view of the CURRENT city council – (Mayor Don Williams predictably voted against it.). But there is nothing in the law that says that the promise given by the current council won’t some day be reversed by another council.
So again, there are 194 VRDs in Roads End with 9 new applications being reviewed. The current council wants to trim Roads End VRDs from 194 down to 90 through attrition. If you include the 9 new applications that’s 203 down to 90.
The council told city staff to draw up the legalese for the plan and have it back before them in a couple of weeks to be formally voted on. The new rules would become official thirty days after that.