Cannon Beach could clarify short-term rental rules

City Planner Mark Barnes

CANNON BEACH — The City Council hopes to make short-term rental regulations “clear and understandable” by the end of the year.

The city is working on code amendments to streamline permitting processes. A proposed change would stop short-term rental decisions from being considered land-use issues, shifting review from the Planning Commission to the City Council.

The amendment seeks to make the permitting and appeals process smoother for property owners and administrators, City Planner Mark Barnes said. Appeals would likely go to Circuit Court instead of the Land Use Board of Appeals.

Planning commissioners opposed the change at their August meeting.

“I believe that it would have a serious adverse effect on due process rights of local citizens on what is a very important issue,” said Commissioner Lisa Kerr, who made a motion to deny the ordinance change.

“I think the whole community should be more involved in that decision and you’re eliminating one of the steps,” Commissioner Robin Risley said.

During public testimony, City Council candidate Herb Florer said the consequences of the proposed change are uncertain and could “remove local avenues for hearings and appeals.”

“Without full knowledge of the potential ramifications of the change, we feel that this is unnecessary,” Florer said.

Barnes said short-term rentals are more similar to business licenses than planning or zoning decisions. “I think there’s some value in streamlining and simplifying this process,” he said at the meeting.

The Planning Commission voted to keep short-term rental regulations in the zoning ordinance. The council could reject the recommendation.

The City Council will likely hold a work session in October to discuss more substantive changes to the city’s short-term rental program.

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