Curry STR Roundtable Petition to Object to Curry County Implementing a Conditional Use Permit, Moratorium, or Cap on Short Term Rentals
Petition is closed. Signatures and comments were emailed and a hard copy was delivered to each of the Curry County Commissioners Friday the 31st, 2021. Thank you for all those that participated!
WHAT WE ARE ASKING:
We are proposing the County use a MODIFIED STR BUSINESS LICENSE PROCESS for STRs within Curry County, to address: 1) the education of homeowners and managers on tax collection requirements and Good Neighbor Practices including parking, occupancy, trash, noise, and problem resolution, 2) consistent enforcement of such practices with a process of homeowner notification and resolution, and 3) if need be, escalating fines and penalties.
- We are asking the County NOT to take actions concerning Short-Term Rentals that would negatively affect the vitality of Curry County’s Tourism Economy.
- We are asking the County NOT to pass any rules that would contemplate a Conditional Use Permitting process for short-term rentals.
- We are asking the County NOT to pass a moratorium on the issuance of STR permits/licenses.
- We are asking the County NOT to pass any new rule that establishes a hard cap on the number of permits/licenses to operate a short-term rental within the County.
-SHARE THIS PETITION!-This petition will be delivered to the Curry County Board of Commissioners.
** Please note that the donation page you will be directed to after submitting your signature DOES NOT collect support for the Curry STR Roundtable. The Curry STR Roundtable does not accept donations currently.
CURRY STR ROUNDTABLE REPORT
The Curry County Board of Commissioners (BOC) are considering implementing a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) process for all Short-Term Rentals (STRs) within the County jurisdiction. Curry County does face challenges in managing issues surrounding the growing STR industry within the County’s growing tourism industry, but many in the STR community find the Conditional Use Permit option to be overreaching, penalizing of those already in compliance, and not the best solution to the problems being presented.
POINTS THAT NEED TO BE CONSIDERED
- Concerning the issue of proposed Fire and Life Safety Risks regulations, the County has not provided an inventory of violations or an impact study that justifies that STRs need separate Fire, Life Safety ordinances apart from ones already created for residential homes and residential long-term rentals.
- The County already has regulations and fees in place for STRs.
- Each STR must have a Curry County business license. Homeowners are required to pay a $100 licensing fee annually. There are currently no special requirements to obtain a business license for the purpose of operating an STR.
- STR homeowners are required to collect and remit quarterly to the County a 7 percent Transient Lodging Tax from their earnings.
- Many STR homeowner have received a notice to annually register and have paid the fee required by Curry County Vacant Property Registration Ordinance 20-01. 70% of the fees go to the Sheriff’s communications budget.
- The STR community understands there is a current burden on the county to mitigate between STR operations, the County, and the community. The Planning Director states, “It is estimated that there are up to 400 short-term rentals (STRs) currently operating in the unincorporated areas of the county. The only regulatory requirement is that they have a county business license and pay the 7% Transient Lodging Tax (TLT). Approximately 100 STR owners have a county business license and during the summer months approximately 300 pay the county TLT tax.”
- TLT dollars, collected from the Short-Term Rental industry, should be applied back to the Short-Term Rental industry as to allow it to continue to add value to the community, and benefit everyone. 28% of the Transient Lodging Tax that the Short-Term Rental industry contributes to is allocated to the Sheriff Department. According to the Lookout & Cross Current Management Plan (page 5), in 2020-21 the TLT collected $129,985 for the Sheriff Dept., and it is projected that in 2021-22, $273,177 will be collected. If the County was able to increase that revenue, by successfully collecting from STRs currently delinquent in remitting the Transient Lodging Tax, the added funds could be applied to enforcement of Licensing requirements. It is preferable that the enforcement of regulations be carried out through the Curry County Code Enforcement Division and Sheriff Department. If the County finds it is unable to enforce its own regulations there are Companies designed to assist cities and counties with this process by identifying Short Term Rentals operating within a jurisdiction, operating hotlines for complaints about short-term rentals, tracking short-term rental property nuisance violations and tax collection.
- The perception of short-term rentals, the homeowners who have invested in our community and the work force needed to operate this industry need to be reevaluated by the County in terms of economic impact, job creation and its contribution to Curry County’s sustainable tourism. The STR community and industry should be fairly represented in the upcoming Lookout & Crosscurrent Collective Curry County Destination Management Plan that the BOC recently approved, funded by the Transient Lodging Tax.
- What appears to be the County’s #1 reason for implementing a CUP is that they claim it protects the “investments made in the numerous, well managed vacation rentals” by preventing any future ballot measures passing that would create a moratorium or faze out Short-Term Rentals completely, as was recently passed in Lincoln County. Its almost certain that if the County does not find a way to fairly regulate STRs, fails to acknowledge and evaluate the impact that STRs are contributing to the tourism industry and local economy, and continues to assume STRs are a major factor to the housing shortage without any impact studies, conflict between the STR community, the County and the public will continue. Action by the County is needed but it does not require over-reaching regulation that penalizes the “well managed vacation rental” homeowners it is seeking to protect.
A Workshop, open to the public, was held by the BOC on December 1, 2021, to discuss STRs in Curry County. The County Planning Director, that proposed the use of the Conditional Use Permit and would oversee the creation of a CUP, claimed that the CUP would protect against any future ballet measures that could ban STRs in Curry County, as recently happened in Lincoln County. People from the community voiced their opinions, suggestions, and requests including 1) Unlike Lincoln County, Curry County’s STR market is mostly comprised of luxury homes that would unlikely be considered work force housing, 2) concerns were raised of regulatory overreach of the CUP, such as excessive fees and inspections, 3) requests for STR economic impact and housing studies, 4) alternatives to the CUP that the County could use to mitigate current STR nuisance issues, 5) specific data was requested with respect to the number and types of complaints the county has received about STRs, 6) and inquiry of proof that STRs are having an effect on the current workforce housing shortage.
IT IS NOT KNOWN IF STRs HAVE AN EFFECT ON THE CURRENT HOUSING SHORTAGE IN CURRY COUNTY
In the Curry County Planning Directors November 16, 2021, Memo to the BOC, concerning a County-wide Moratorium on Short-Term Rentals, the County Planning Director states, “Determining the feasibility and impact of a moratorium on short term rentals in the county would require an accurate assessment of the number of STRs in the context of the amount of housing with specific information on the availability of housing.” The County Planning Director concludes that, “A moratorium on STRs without an assessment of the potential benefit of such an action would appear to be premature.”
During the December 1st Workshop and recent Planning Commission Meetings, public comment and the STR community appeared to agree that an assessment of the local rental housing market should be conducted before implementing any form of STR moratorium or cap. Short-Term Rental Managers, homeowners, and the public suggested the following:
- The real-estate market value of most vacation homes in Curry County would place them outside of the workforce rental housing market.
- The effects of a moratorium or cap on the promotion of the tourism industry and the money that STRs bring into the community would likely be disproportionate to any benefit to the housing market.
- Recently passed State of Oregon rental laws are unfavorable to homeowners, AND many homeowners utilize their STRs for personal use, therefore, it is unknown how many, if any, STR homeowners would make their homes available as Long-Term Rentals (LTR) if a moratorium or cap were placed. These Oregon rental laws include:
- Pre-Covid law places a Cap on rent hikes at 7 percent plus inflation during any given 12 month-period and a ban on no-cause evictions.
- Pre-Covid ban on “No Cause” evictions after 30 days.
- Another Oregon Bill currently being considered by Oregon law makers would limit a landlord’s ability to screen an applicant’s criminal history.
COUNTY PLANNING DIRECTOR’S CURRENT SUGGESTIONS FOR AN STR CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT
From Planning Directors November 16, 2021, Memo:
Curry County Zoning Ordinance (CCZO): The STR Ordinance could be incorporated into the Conditional Use section of the CCZO. This provides a standard administrative process for review, public notification, opportunity for appeals to the Planning Commission and a format to define required compatibility standards. A standard land use application can be used with information that allows staff to verify legal lot, zoning, and structure status. This application process also requires the applicant to disclose utility information including required signatures from fire districts, electric provider, sewerage agencies and to identify the STR water source. The CCZO Conditional Use process also allows staff to add conditions to an application where there are special concerns of compatibility that are unique to an applicant’s proposed STR [emphasis added].
Fire, Life Safety Risk: The County Building Inspector would check the structure proposed for a STR. The primary purpose of the “check” would be for Fire, Life and Safety Risk. There would NOT be a review of structures and subsequent building code requirements unrelated to Fire, Life and Safety Risk. However, the “check” by the Building Official may likely include onsite review of other requirements set forth in the Administrative Conditional Use permit such as the number of required parking spaces, signage, etc. This onsite review of other land use related standards by the Building Official would negate the need for more than one staff person having to visit the STR. A sample checklist from Tillamook County is attached. [Link below.]
Enforcement: Unpermitted STRs and permitted STRs that are in violation of any requirements are subject to citation and fines through County Code Enforcement. Code Enforcement citations start at $440., and non-payment usually results in a court appearance. Multiple complaints and/or violations would likely result in revocation of the STR land use permit.
Fees: An Administrative Conditional Use permit is currently $2,000. A required renewal request is suggested every three (3) years with a fee of $500. The Fire, Life Safety check fee would likely be $200., and $108. for each additional Building Inspector check for a non-compliance fix and required re-checks.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
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All quotes are taken from the Curry County Planning Directors, November 16th, Short Term Rental Memo to Board of Commissioners.
The Curry STR Roundtable was formed to help promote and protect Short Term Rental (STR) interests by facilitating discussions and solutions.
Request to join the Curry STR Roundtable email list CurrySTRRoundtable@gmail.com.