One of the longest running debates in Lincoln City has been what to do, if anything, about the huge number of Vacation Rental Dwellings (VRD’s) in the city and how to soften their effects on the neighborhoods they operate in. The argument on one side is that they provide a “home-away-from-home” vacation spot for families who need more room that what is offered in a typical hotel or motel setting. The other side comes from VRD neighbors who complain that VRD’s are frequently rented by rabble rowzers who throw noisy all night parties and who scatter garbage and litter around the neighborhood, some even parking on neighboring lawns. Add to the mix that the city anticipates annexing the entire Roads End area to the north with it’s myriad of VRD’s and there is a great likelihood that the debate will only grow louder.
The Lincoln City City Council Monday night moved ahead with plans to hire a consultant with knowledge and insight into the Oregon Coast’s VRD dilemma, which has been addressed by as many plans as there are zip codes. Several VRD associations have paraded before the council over the past month or two, all imploring the council to “not pick on” VRD’s because of “a few bad apples.” Three representatives of various VRD associations appeared before the council Monday night exhorting the councilors to hire a candidate that gives reasonable weight to the opinions of VRD owners who have invested heavily in the economy of Lincoln City and who have a very large stake in the outcome of any regulatory changes that might be envisioned. Some even went so far as to suggest that each side in the debate be given adequate representation to maintain balance in the regulatory review process. However, City Manager David Hawker and Mayor Dick Anderson chimed in that the consultant’s job is not to referee warring factions but rather to listen to all sides and then recommend to the city council what regulatory changes may be warranted.
The council authorized Hawker to issue a request for proposals from anyone or any agency that might want to tackle the issue of VRD’s in a city that has a lot of them; perhaps more per square foot than any other city on the coast and again, about to get more with Roads End coming into the city. Mayor Dick Anderson says whatever changes are eventually adopted, it’ll take the better part of a year to enter them into the city code.