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  • Bob Papke

STR Ordinance Final Draft & Next Steps


5/12/23 Below is a great informative "Summary & Next Steps" shared by Oregon Coast Hosts regarding STR’s. I recommend you scroll down to read.



That's a wrap on the STR Advisory Committee meetings! Next up are two Board of County Commissioner public hearings and then a vote on final STR ordinance. Everyone did an amazing job with the public comments throughout this entire process. There were over 450 written public comments supporting STRs, property rights and current regulations. Well done! We more than doubled the number of comments containing complaints or support for the proposed draft. We had great representation throughout the entire county, while 77% of the complaints were from one community, Neahkahnie. NKN is just outside of Manzanita and has a mere 7% of STR permits in the county (83 out of 1,209). Neskowin was a distant 2nd with 15% of the complaints. What's next? We need in person support at the upcoming BOCC meetings. If you're heading to the coast for Memorial Day weekend please consider staying for the first meeting on Tuesday evening, May 30 (details TBD from the county). Monday, May 22 - 7pm OCH zoom with public comment tips - Registration Link Tuesday, May 30 - evening BOCC meeting (TBD) Monday, June 12th - daytime meeting sometime this week (TBD) Wednesday, June 21 - BOCC vote Saturday, July 1 - Expiration of STR permit pause Monday, July 3 - New applications for STRs open - details TBD by county County STR Advisory Committee Meeting Highlights:

  1. 1% cap over current levels sounds to be favorable to BOCC and this will be a board order outside of the ordinance, which is why percentage caps are crossed out in the ordinance (they are very likely coming, just not as part of the ordinance).

  2. To encourage fluidity in the permit list to allow more new permits, the county would like to remove permits in two ways: limit transfers & require minimum usage.

  3. County seemed receptive to being in line with the "Augusta Rule" and not requiring a permit for 14 nights of rentals or less annually, but requiring 15+ nights of cumulative rentals in a 1-2 year period. Exceptions may be made for LTR, construction, illness, & STR administrator will have discretion.

  4. Transferability - There was majority support for limiting current permits to only two transfers and not allowing transfers for new registration certificates, with a possible exception for LLC if it's the owner's LLC (inheritance does not count as a transfer). OCH Legal Team says transfers of current permits are a state legal right in perpetuity because STR permits are land use (current transfer rate is 2%), so a limit of two for current permits is not legal.

  5. 5 year amortization clause will be removed since the caps will not result in loss of permits.

  6. Septic inspections may be required every 3 years (proposed to be annual).

  7. Feedback given that complaints need to be made at time of observed problem so that the owner has a chance to rectify before receiving a violation.

  8. Feedback given that no permits should be removed for "alleged" violations - all should be verified violations.

  9. Concerns expressed over safety of requiring owners to respond in person & Fire Chief Carpenter suggested contact person be allowed to document good faith effort to resolve but note personal safety concerns - we should not be putting ourselves in potentially dangerous situations to try and avoid a violation.

  10. Feedback given that false complaints should be punitive to complainant.

  11. Feedback given that the Hold Harmless clause which requires STR owners to defend the county is an overreach and not standard.

  12. Tillamook Chamber of Commerce supports 2% annual increase with sunset in 3 years as data is evaluated & county works on individual community plans.

  13. Signage not being visible is an immediate violation, and then a 2nd violation if you don't prove compliance within stated timeline.

  14. Feedback given to exclude commercial zones from STR percentage caps and potential distance limits.

  15. July 1, 2022 - Dec 1, 2022 there were almost 120 new homes built.

  16. Outside of caps, the other "reduction tools" are off of the table until Phase 2.

  17. Phase 2 roll out over next 1-2 years will involve Community Development working with individual communities to set percentage caps, evaluate data, and consider other tabled growth management tools.

In summary, several good changes have been made to the draft ordinance, and there should be a fresh draft prior to first BOCC meeting. However, the county is still proposing to replace ALL permits with registration certificates, and that is a legal issue as our legal team agrees that current permits are tied to land use, and registration certificates will make it easier for the county to make changes to the STR program. OCH legal team says that transferability is a protected legal right for current permit holders, but the county can change this for newly issued STRs going forward. Additionally, any land owners or homeowners without STR permits are essentially facing an indefinite pause as the county predicts the 1% growth cap will be reached quickly. Please reach out to your neighbors to let them know their property rights to use their home as an STR is being removed. Timeline for current permits to come into compliance was not discussed, and this is a very important issue for many homes with smaller parking spaces, smaller bedrooms, and regular outdoor lights (new requirement to be directed downwards). These sound minor, but all together have a throttling effect on STRs and could reduce both occupancy and the number of STRs. We're also keeping an eye on the outcome of another group's litigation with the county regarding being shut out of STR permits while under construction. We're cheering for this group & hopeful that they can receive permits ASAP and not be impacted by the 1% cap. Oregon Coast Hosts continues to advocate for STRs, tourism, and property rights. Our Policy Recommendations are a work in progress and we look forward to dialing these in and having a unified message:

  1. Adopt evidence-based & balanced regulations, backed by enforcement

  2. Allow current STR permit holders to maintain permits - Do not replace with "Registration Certificates"

  3. Preserve transfer rights for current STR permit holders as required by state law

  4. Adopt a growth management cap allowing 2% annual STR increase per community with 3 year sunset while the county works through Phase 2 with individual communities to set caps

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