Newport opens up all residential zones of the city to Vacation Rental Dwellings – but puts them on a short leash
Despite being told that they’d be sorry if they did it, the Newport City Council Monday moved ahead with allowing Vacation Rental Dwellings (VRDs) in all residential zones in the city. But councilors said VRDs will be monitored very closely for compliance with strict rules on noise, trash, having enough parking, occupancy limits and getting along with their neighbors.
VRDs are, as City Councilor Jeff Bertuleit opined, “mini-hotels” in the middle of otherwise upscale neighborhoods. And when they are run irresponsibly, Bertuleit said, “it’s a big deal.” He said “when a property owner, especially one who doesn’t live in Newport, is less than strict about the rules, it can drive the whole neighborhood crazy. All you have to do is look up the highway to Lincoln City to see what can happen when VRDs get out of control.”
But Community Development Director Derrick Tokos tells the city council that Newport’s proposed VRD regulations are very strict, with something bordering on “three strikes and your out” for VRDs that don’t comply with the rules. In order to get a permit, a property owner must promise to abide by the rules and pay a fee and be inspected along with establishing limits on the number of occupants in any given VRD. VRD owners must provide trash pick-up beyond normal schedules (if needed) and ensure guests don’t park on the street or on neighbors’ properties. Their guests cannot be rowdy, noisy or otherwise be obnoxious to the neighbors. The rules also require that there be a LOCAL manager for the VRD who is reachable and responsive 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
VRDs offer a “home away from home” experience for visitors to the coast who might prefer it to a standard hotel or motel experience. They also provide additional room tax revenues for the city that can be used for tourism promotion and to provide funds for street maintenance and other services used by tourists. Mayor Mark McConnell predicted there might be a slight increase in VRDs in Newport, but that they’ll mostly be within eye-shot of the beach.
Since the new VRD rules allow them in single family, duplex and apartment zones, city councilors said they will be monitoring compliance with the new rules very closely. They said they will take note of any problem trends and make adjustments to the VRD rules as needed. Tokos said the rules are clear that if a VRD owner doesn’t comply with his/her VRD permit, the permit will be revoked.