At first it was Lincoln City, then Yachats and now….it’s becoming an issue in Newport.
Vacation Rentals Dwellings (VRDs). On one side, vacation rental owners contend that they’re providing an economic boost to the community as well as room taxes to city coffers. On the other side are adjacent or nearby residents who complain that too many VRDs are loud, trashy and are causing a worsening of what is already a horrific housing shortage for low and moderate income families since more homes are going VRD causing back pressure on the entire housing market.
The Newport City Council Monday evening heard from both sides of the issue, those in favor of a moratorium on new VRDs so the city can catch up with the effects of the VRD industry, as well as from those who tout the economic benefits of VRDs and who urged caution on any new controls or moratorium on new applications.
After a lot of back and forth the council voted to consider a moratorium on new applications despite a concern over a possible “land rush” on new VRD applications. But before they can enact a moratorium they have to comply with state law that requires a 45 day public and state notification before it can be enacted complete with reasons for the moratorium. The council also referred the issue back to the city planning commission for their review and recommended changes in VRD rules. Then, when they’re given the planning commission’s report, the council will hold a public hearing November 6th on whether a moratorium is justified while the city studies what to do about the situation.
Lincoln City has been grappling with this issue for the last two years at least – while Yachats has just adopted new rules that limit the number of VRDs in their town in order to preserve Yachat’s small coastal town ambiance along with what they called a preservation of a broader housing mix for all residents.