CBG

The Cannon Beach City Council on Tuesday tabled the appointment of members to a short-term rental task force.

Community Development Director Jeff Adams said Wednesday in an email that the decision to postpone the selection until next month was based on a desire to limit the task force’s number of members from 11 to seven plus two alternates.

“Councilor (Mike) Benefield was concerned by the number of applications from the (short-term rental)/property management industry … and felt it would skew the representation,” said Adams.

The mission of the task force is to “maintain the residential character and livability” of the city’s neighborhoods, and to “prevent the adverse effects of the transient occupancy” by limiting and regulating “the transient occupancy of these dwelling units, (and) by investigating the rental permitting, violations and impacts of the STR program in Cannon Beach,” as stated in the city’s staff report.

The city is collecting data on short-term rental activity, including any increase in rentals, as well as geographical concentrations and any complaints related to traffic, parking and noise, for example, the report stated. The task force then will study those data.

Task force members should represent a variety of interests and may include property managers and rental owners, homeowners who do not rent their properties, those from the tourism industry, renters, and members of the Cannon Beach workforce, the report stated.

The task force is to meet on a quarterly basis for a period of four years.

The Gazette recently contacted several people who applied to serve on the task force. Two of those returned calls.

Claudia Toutain-Dorbec, the owner of Cannon Beach Hotel Lodgings, and Lisa Fraser, who owns a long-term rental property plus another, unrelated business in Cannon Beach, agreed to be interviewed.

Toutain-Dorbec said, “I think there is a need for vacation rentals within the community that the lodging industry cannot provide. However, the impact on vacation rentals and the livability (within the community) needs to be handled, managed, in a reasonable and fair manner.”

She said she “lived between two vacation rentals and experienced what it was like to have a home impacted by that experience.”

She said those who invest in rental and lodging properties make a “serious” investment and expect to be able to operate their businesses profitably.

Although each member of the task force will come with his or her own “set of concerns and ideas,” and some will be supportive of vacation rentals while others may not. “I think there is always common ground.”

Fraser said she has experienced what it’s like to live near a vacation rental. Her main goal, she said, “is to explore new ideas” that will “work for everybody - find a middle-of-the-road compromise.”

She said she’d like the task force to find a fair solution for everybody that “leaves Cannon Beach a livable community.”

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