County Put Moratorium on Vacation Rentals | Local News
Clatsop County Commissioners have unanimously backed a six-month moratorium on new vacation rental licenses while the county is revising two ordinances that regulate short-term rentals.
The move comes after months of conversations and discussions about proposed revisions to the rules.
Commissioners agreed at a working session in April to suspend work on post-conflict reviews at Cove Beach and Arch Cape.
In a working session in early June, the board agreed that a moratorium was the best way forward as the county considers ways to revise and possibly consolidate the ordinances.
The moratorium is expected to begin in September and the review process could be completed by February. The county has scheduled two municipal meetings in July to seek public input on the moratorium.
“What we would like to have as a goal for all the revisions that we will eventually make is to develop a better balance between quality of life concerns and the impacts that short-term rentals can have on a residential area”, Gail Henrikson, said the county’s director of community development. “But also by recognizing that there are investments that short-term rental owners have made, and trying to find a better balance between the two.”
The two ordinances are similar, but one is specific to Arch Cape, while the other covers the remaining unincorporated parts of the county. The main differences relate to parking and length of stay requirements.
The Arch Cape Ordinance requires a minimum stay of seven nights, and only one reservation is permitted during a seven-day period. Street parking is not permitted. There is no limit or minimum stay requirement for other unincorporated areas, and street parking is permitted.
There are over 200 vacation rental licenses in the unincorporated parts of the county. Of these, over 50% are located at Cove Beach and Arch Cape. Clatsop Plains is also an important part.
Host Compliance, a company that provides vacation rental monitoring and enforcement services, found that the average rental rate per night for vacation rentals in unincorporated parts of the county is $ 277. Over 75% were for single-family homes. The rest were for a single room or parts of a house.
A 2019 county housing study found that while there is technically an oversupply of housing, a large portion of housing is consumed by vacation rentals and second home owners.
The situation is more pronounced in the seaside communities in the south of the county.
Commissioner Lianne Thompson, who represents the South County, said she wanted the board to set a collaborative tone as the process progresses.
Thompson, who has lived in Cove Beach since the late 1990s, said she has been concerned about vacation rentals for nearly two decades.
“What I saw was that the character of a neighborhood was changing and I wanted to do something,” she said. “We’ve all been working – I mean, groping – towards a solution since then. I’ve seen things that have given me hope. I’ve seen things that have worried me. There is no doubt that the Astoria County government and commissioners all around Clatsop County understand that there is a problem with the transitional occupation. This gives me hope.
“What worries me a lot is that the character of the interactions I see in my neighborhood breaks my heart,” she said. “We live in a beautiful location. We have the privilege of living part-time, full-time as landlords, as tenants in a beautiful location. But here’s the thing with Oregon law. Everyone can come and visit this place.These are public beaches.As the population increases, we are going to see more and more people coming to the coast.
“We’re going to see them coming to state parks. We’re going to see them coming all over the place. So they’re going to come to our neighborhood. At the idea that we can control other people’s access to our little piece of heaven and make it happen. so that whatever our opinion is in the law just doesn’t work. And I’ve seen that become what I think is a growing dynamic. What also concerns me is that I would say cruelty, malice who was involved, the idea that if someone is mean enough to another human being, they can exercise their will on them. That is not positive. “