County discusses moratorium on short-term rental permits

Clatsop County Commissioners will hold two public town hall meetings to discuss a proposed 120-day moratorium to suspend the issuance of new short-term rental permits in the unincorporated area to provide time to look into a possible revision of the ordinance.

The two meetings to discuss the proposed short-term rental moratorium were held virtually at 11 a.m. Friday, July 9, and will be on Friday, July 16.

“There are many different reasons why people are not necessarily in favor of the short-term rental ordinance,” said County Community Development Director Gail Henrikson. Some reasons include noise, traffic and that it depletes the housing stock for workers.

The county has received numerous comments, including 150 pages of emails from neighbors and short-term rental owners on this contested issue, Henrikson said.

From the staff’s perspective they are looking at possibly merging the two ordinances, Arch Cape’s and the remaining unincorporated, and also to “make (the ordinance) clearer in terms of how it’s enforced,” she said.

“You would think” the ordinance would be clear to people, she said. However, county staff do not work on the weekend and they get recorded calls in the middle of the night, for example, on Saturdays about noise. By the time the county staff go to work on Monday and look at the rental, it is not noisy.

She said another issue is people think three complaints should justify an automatic suspension of the permit but that is not how the ordinance reads. It states a permit may be revoked.

Some short-term rental owners “feel they are being harassed by neighbors with false complaints,” she said.

The commissioners discussed these short-term rental ordinance issues at their work session on February 2, and April 6, she said.

Both meetings were recorded and are available on archived video in the calendar section of the website.

To register to speak at either or both of the upcoming meetings, please contact Gail Henrikson, Community Development Director, at 503-325-8611 or ghenrikson@co.clatsop.or.us, the website states.

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