The Cannon Beach City Council decided Tuesday to delay a vote on proposed amendments to the city’s short-term rental ordinance for a month, according to Jeff Adams, the city community development director.
The council chose instead to form a committee to review the ordinance and “come up with some suggestions that would be good both for the community and the industry,” said Brian Olson, a partner in Beachcomber Vacation Homes Cannon Beach.
The council directed staff to decide “who from the community would be on the committee,” Olson said.
The city council and the planning commission have been working on a review of the ordinance for some time, according to city documents. The council met in work session and the planning commission made recommendations to the council.
Olson said the proposal to sunset a portion of the short-term ordinance came about because “a number of people don’t like the nightly rentals in their neighborhoods.” A need for more workforce housing was another concern that generated a review of the ordinance.
However, he said, changing the ordinance would not solve the workforce housing issue since most vacation rentals are more expensive than a person in the workforce can afford.
According to a city staff report, Cannon Beach has 200 short-term rentals.
Earlier in the process, the city planning commission voted on three proposed amendments to the ordinance as stated in the city’s findings of facts:
1. Approved a plan to allow the owners of short term rentals who manage their own properties to defer any penalties if they hire professional management.
2. Voted to keep the so-called “14 day rule” that controls when a property owner may rent their properties. They did not approve a “monthly rule” proposal which would have reduced the number of weeks a year a property could be rented.
3. Voted to “award no more five-year permits and end the five-year permit program by allowing current five-year permits to expire, based upon the condition that the City will suspend all new five-year permits, for a term of two years, while the City gathers data on rentals, rental violations and the fiscal impact of rentals,” as stated in the findings.
Jeff Adams, city Community Development Director, said in an email Tuesday that the difference between the so-called 14 day rule and the
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monthly is as follows: “What 14-Day actually means, is that after you have a rental group check-in, you cannot rent the unit for 14-days after that date. So if they check-in on the 6th, you can’t rent that unit until the 20th. Whereas, the Monthly-Limited would have allowed two rentals per month, regardless of check-in or out dates.”
Lisa Kerr, a member of the city planning commission, said Monday she voted at the commission meeting to keep the “14 day rule” because she was “adamantly against continuing with the five-year no restrictions lottery system” and thought approving the 14 day rule “would represent a compromise on the part of the planning commission” to allow the additional short term rental time.
Five-year permits, awarded through a lottery system, allow the owner of a short-term rental to rent as often as he or she wants, as stated in the city ordinance.
“If a family has a short-term rental in a residential neighborhood, it is like having a motel right on your block,” Kerr said.
She said short-term renters are often not “good neighbors. They throw litter around, (hold) loud parties, park cars every which way all over the street.”
She said the character of Cannon Beach is different than it was 40 years ago. At that time, the city was more of an “artists’ community.”
Now, she said, Cannon Beach is “starting to become a place where only wealthy people can afford to come and stay...”