More discussions about Vacation Residential Rentals…Freddy Saxton, President, Lincoln County Board of Realtors
The dust hasn’t even settled in the wake of Newport’s recently enacted extensive anti-VRD legislation yet here we are again discussing further measures to punish it’s law-abiding property owners who have chosen to open their homes to visiting guests.
The process was flawed from the start, after an openly and admittedly biased Planning Commission got together and devised a plan to eliminate VRD’s from their own back yards. A citizen’s advisory group was created to provide the illusion of a level playing field, yet impartial members of the group who expressed any indication of pro-VRD sentiment were bullied and literally shouted at by Planning Committee members during the advisory group meetings. In the end after the council heard significantly more testimony against the new legislation than in support, the Planning Committee got their way as VRD’s effectively became a thing of the past in the bulk of Newport’s geographical area.
The single remotely positive element of the new legislation that made things a little less onerous for existing VRD owners was the provision that existing law-abiding VRD owners could continue to utilize their properties as VRD’s as long as they continue to follow the rules and until they or their immediate heirs cede ownership of the property. All in all the finalized legislation dealt a major blow to VRD owners in the city, but the grandfather provision made it at least “tolerable” and limited financial damages. The notion that a 5-10 year phase out would allow owners to “recoup” their investment before shutting down operations is ludicrous, especially considering the cost of an average oceanfront/view house.
It’s discouraging to think that residents of a town branding itself as “The Friendliest” have developed such an aversion to out of town visitors, who are literally responsible for many of the great amenities we have all come to appreciate and enjoy. The wonderful shops, restaurants and attractions in our community would cease to exist if not for the tourism leg of our economy – not to mention the associated jobs which have long supported a major segment of our population. Want to know what type of amenities a community of our size would have without the infusion of tourism dollars? Look at Sweet Home, Ontario, or La Grande to name just a few.
Despite the picture that opponents of VRD’s are trying to paint, the average VRD guest is not a college frat group partying until the wee hours and creating endless disturbances. The average VRD guest is respectful and here to enjoy and appreciate the beauty and tranquility of the Oregon Coast – just like the rest of us. Mothers, Fathers, Grandparents and children who have taken us on our word when they pass by that “Newport – The Friendliest” sign on their way into town. It’s time that more of us start acting that way.