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I was snookered by VRD’s being placed on both sides of my home….

Robin Hochtrtt says “I was Snookered.”

My neighborhood is a member of the 15neighborhoods Coalition. We are gathering Petition signatures for a Short Term Rental (STR) Ballot Measure for residential neighborhoods. Go to www.15neighborhoods.com to download a petition signature sheet, sign and date (2 places), and send it to P.O. Box 390, Depoe Bay. All registered Lincoln County voters can sign.

I was unfamiliar with Short Term Vacation Rental (STR/VRD) business until January 18, 2018, when I found myself sandwiched between two short-term rentals – each licensed for 11 people. 

My initial response was “These houses must have huge septic tanks” because so many renters were there. Through research, I learned that the County had no septic records for these houses. These two VRD’s were built in the 1940s, with various additions added over the years.  Before 1971, septic permits were not required. My house was built in 1999. The state Department of Environmental Quality requires that I contract with an inspector for two inspections annually who then sends an annual Report to DEQ.

Living next to an VRD is very inconvenient. Picking up garbage or calling a (not really) Local Contact to pick up garbage was tiresome but necessary to keep the rats and raccoons at bay. Having 20+ people show up for parties and being told it was OK so long as only 11 people spend the night was unsettling. 

Along the way, I also learned that the Maximum Occupancy Limits were unenforceable anyway because the Sheriff would not enter the premises without a warrant to count heads. Assuming permission was granted, and more renters than licensed were present, it was up to the renters to decide who had to leave (and probably return after the Sheriff left. No record was kept because citations are not issued.  

What if they are also violating the noise prohibition after 10 pm? This is not a VRD-specific law. It applies to everyone living in the unincorporated areas of the County. They’d be told to pipe down. If they did, there would be no citation even if the Sheriff observed it. This is only a misdemeanor in Lincoln County – not worth the time if the citation is appealed, and the Deputy would have to appear as a witness. This is true of parking as well – another violation that applies Countywide. 

The Property Manager and the Investor suffer NO CONSEQUENCES. The “cost” of VRD management is passed on to the neighbors (1) as the “first responders” to call in a complaint and (2) pay taxes so the Sheriff can add deputies and administrative staff to process applications and respond to complaints.

Then I learned that I lived in Lincoln County’s most restrictive Residential Zone (R-1-A). This Residential Zone is so restrictive that not even Bed and Breakfast Inns are allowed. I told County Counsel about this only to learn that “short term rentals” were a residential use according to the Oregon Supreme Court and allowed in Residential Zones. 

I was snookered. This is not true now and was not true when Lincoln County adopted its VRD regulations in 2016, according to my attorney.

By now, I started paying more attention to the long term housing shortage problem. I heard that housing was not affordable and increasingly unavailable at any price. I heard from a government official that more STR business licenses were issued than new construction permits in 2018-2019. It felt like many problems were interrelated and that the vacation home industry was the nexus.

The Goal of 15neighborhoods is to restrict and eventually phase-out STRs only from our Residential neighborhoods over five years. STRs are useful, but should have been licensed only in the County’s Tourist/Commercial Zones. 

Our website includes Tabs for Community Response, Research and Resources, How to File a Complaint with the County, and FAQs. Behind the Tab “Views from the Steering Committee” are thoughtful essays, such as:

Want a Problem You Can Fix on May 18?

Commissioners: Who is Your Constituent?

Short Term Vacation Renting is an Extractive Industry

Are Rural Neighborhoods the STR Industry’s First Responders?

​Why 15neighborhoods started an Electronic Petition Drive during a Pandemic

​Violations without Consequences

The Newly Unhoused: Short and Long Term Solutions

Short-term rentals: Compliance and Enforcement

Growth and Climate Refugees

County Crumbles Under the Weight of Too Much Growth and Not Enough Careful Planning

Time to Revise our Thinking about Emergency STR Evacuation Planning in Residential Neighborhoods

Check us out. Send us questions and comments through “Contact Us” on the website, 15Neighborhoods.com

Robin Hochtritt
Unincorporated Lincoln County

 

Mary’s Peak Group up and around…

Mary’s Peak
In mid-winter…

January 10, 2021 

Here are our activities in the next 2 weeks

The Marys Peak Group Executive Committee will be meeting January 12th via Zoom from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.  All MPG members are welcome to attend.  Contact MarysPeakGroup@Oregon.Sierraclub.org

to get the login information.  This will be the last meeting of the 2020 excom which will wrap up old business and accept the results of our last election. The 2021 excom will then take over to elect officers and plan the year ahead.

Once the Marys Peak Group is allowed to resume offering and conducting outings by the National Office of the Sierra Club and by Governor Brown’s phase-in levels, would you in the meantime be Interested in Becoming a Leader for Sierra Club Outings?

If you enjoy sharing Oregon’s incredible outdoors with others, then we hope you will become an outing leader for the Marys Peak Group (MPG), the local group of the Oregon Chapter of the Sierra Club, Having new leaders is critical to MPG’s goal of getting people out into Oregon’s outdoors. We’d love to have you!  Doing so will add to the number and variety of hikes and outings we offer.

Having a love of the outdoors is the essential characteristic of an MPG leader. The purpose of MPG’s outings is to share parts of Oregon that you have discovered and enjoy. A background or interest in any of the natural sciences is a wonderful plus but not necessary.

What are the Advantages of Becoming an Outing Leader?

  • Provides an incentive or motivation for you to find new trails in Oregon
  • Opportunities to share those or your favorite trails with others
  • Sharing your pleasure & joy will help get people out enjoying nature
  • Meeting and interacting with other lovers & enjoyers of the outdoors
  • Chances of learning new insights from participants on your trips
  • Strengthens your organizational skills

Ken Fitschen, Assistant Chair, Jules Moritz, Outings Chair, and Robert Verhoogen, Chair Emeritus, will make the process as smooth as possible. Contact one of them via e-mail if you are interested in finding out more about becoming an outing leader:

– Ken Fitschen’s e-mail = kenfits@comcast.net

– Jules Moritz’s e-mail = mpg.outings.chair@gmail.com

– Robert Verhoogen’s e-mail = rverhoogen@mac.com

 

Announcements… (1 new) 

1)  Per OSU Research Forests – 

JANUARY ELK HUNT ACTIVE ON DUNN FOREST AND TURKEY HUNT APPLICATIONS OPEN

218A NE Alsea Controlled Elk Hunt Active through January 31st on the Dunn Forest

The 218A NE Alsea Controlled Elk Hunt is occurring on the Dunn Forest throughout the month of January.  This is a very small hunt, as only 11 people were granted permission through the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. These hunters were sent a permission letter in the mail, granting them access to the Dunn Forest for walk-in hunting.  Hunters may use a rifle or bow, and are hunting for antlerless elk (cows).

You may or may not see hunters while you are out on the Dunn Forest over the next month.  Here are some tips from the USDA Forest Service on hunting safety for hunters and other recreators.

Here is a map of the area where hunting is allowed, for your reference.

NOTE:  There will NOT be any Peak View mailings UNLESS there is new information to report from OSU Forestry, the Sierra Club National office, or the Governor’s Office about the opening up of recreation areas, or from our Executive Committee.

1) Newcomers to MPG outing events, please view the new GENERAL OUTING POLICY on our MPG website by clicking on copying and pasting   <http://oregon2.sierraclub.org/marys-peak/outings >  and then clicking on < Get Outdoors/Outings and Policies > before pre-registering for or attending an outing. 

2) Carpooling: Given the changing gas prices when car-pooling, take a 

moment to ask the leader for the suggested reimbursement rate per passenger per hour of driving for the outing. 

3) Contacting Marys Peak Group:  Marys Peak Group contact information is obtainable at  https://oregon2.sierraclub.org/marys-peak/contact Listed are the Executive Committee members and the Administrative and Program Coordinators.

4) Facebook: Marys Peak Group – Sierra Club is on Facebook.  Check out MPG’s Facebook page to view pictures of past hikes and events, and learn about upcoming opportunities.  Post pictures from hikes and outings you participate in! Copy and paste the address https://www.facebook.com/pages/Marys-Peak-Group-Sierra-Club/159377960779

5) Minutes of the MPG Executive Committee can be viewed at the aforementioned website by clicking on the About Us/Ex Comm Meeting Minutes tab or by clicking on https://oregon2.sierraclub.org/marys-peak/minutes  for the minutes of the virtual meeting.

The Peak View

Marys Peak Group – Sierra Club

P.O Box 863, Corvallis, OR 97339

http://oregon2.sierraclub.org/marys-peak

Toledo Library gets a nice grant from the Keane Family Fund!

Toledo Public Library Receives Surprise Grant of $10,000

The Toledo Public Library is pleased to announce the receipt of a $10,000 grant from the Keane Family Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation. The unanticipated award is granted to assist in the upgrade of technology and equipment for our community meeting room. We look forward to offering our small community state of the art technology. We anticipate meeting the needs of those who require access to presentations from remote locations, such as The Lincoln County Genealogical Society, the local RAIN program, and entrepreneurs who need robust meeting spaces for partners and employees located around the county, nation, or the world. This was a delightful and encouraging gift during the Holiday Season.

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