Now that the Lincoln City Vacation Rental Dwelling (VRD) task force has forwarded their findings to the city council, it’s up to the council and the city planning commission to come to grips with it. In a sweeping set of recommendations, the task force said VRD’s are an important ingredient in Lincoln City’s local economy and shows signs of becoming even more valuable, based on recent market trends. But the task force added that owners and mangers of VRD’s must operate them in ways that don’t antagonize the neighbors with noise, loud music, trash strewn about and clogged streets with inappropriate parking.
City Councilors Monday night learned that they must figure out how to deal with pre-existing VRD’s that are, in essence, commercial operations located within regular residential zones. There are also state laws that keep some VRD’s capped at 16 occupants at one time. However, some Lincoln City VRD’s regularly advertise that they can accommodate many more than 16 and have for years. Would that mean that some VRD’s would have to lower their occupancies or would they be allowed to retro-fit their facilities to more suitably accommodate a greater number of guests?
There is also the issue of yes vs. no zones – where pre-existing VRD’s may find themselves grandfathered-in in a neighborhood where such facilities would not be otherwise allowed. How should they be treated until they are eventually phased out? – due to the death of the owner or a sale to another person or company?
There is also the issue of liability insurance. Homeowner’s insurance, they were told, doesn’t cover renters liability, since, in essence, a rental is a business. That needs to be worked out – that is if the city wants to take it on, along with a number of other issues which could be addressed by expanding the reach of VRD licenses.
City Manager David Hawker said all this comes before the Lincoln City Planning Commission May 21st as commissioners try to make sense of what is called by many a hodge-podge of VRD rules and regulations up and down the Oregon Coast while trying to figure out what parts might work for Lincoln City along with some added touches unique to the town. Hawker said there will be plenty of opportunity for Lincoln City residents to voice their opinions in front of the planning commission and the city council. Written comments are also sincerely welcomed as if you attended the meetings. Hawker said it could all be wrapped up by mid-to-late summer.