"To protect the Oregon coast by working with coastal residents for sustainable communities; protection and restoration of coastal and marine natural resources; providing education and advocacy on land use development; and adaptation to climate change."

Oregon Coast Alliance is the coastal affiliate of 1000 Friends of Oregon

Oregon Coast Alliance Newsletter

Good News on Housing and Hotels

Excellent News in Lincoln County’s Effort to Regulate Short Term Rentals!

Clatsop County to Hold Housing Amendments Workshop: January 16 at 5:00 PM

The Marriott Hotel Proposal in Bandon Old Town Faces a Huge Obstacle

Excellent News in Lincoln County’s Effort to Regulate Short Term Rentals!

Tillicum Moon. Courtesy ORCA

Last week, the Court of Appeals in Dean v Lincoln County, and the Lincoln County Circuit Court in Briggs v Lincoln County, handed the residents of Lincoln County two more victories over the STR industry. An industry attorney announced today that the decisions will be appealed. 

The industry has filed and lost a number of lawsuits against Lincoln County since the election of November 2021, when almost 60% of the voters passed a ballot measure to phase out STRs over a five-year period. The ballot measure was later overturned by the Land Use Board of Appeals, which ruled it conflicted with Oregon land use law. But Lincoln County had also passed ordinances capping and restricting STRs, though not phasing them out entirely. Lincoln County’s ordinance is much more restrictive than the 2023 ordinances passed in Tillamook and Clatsop Counties. The industry launched a campaign against the Lincoln County ordinances, using lawsuits as their major tool.

In the Oregon Court of Appeals case, judges affirmed the county’s plan to create seven zones in which the number of STRs would dramatically shrink, from over six hundred to under two hundred. Then, handing the industry a second loss, Lincoln County Circuit Court recently ruled that the county can regulate STRs through business licensing. He affirmed that the county’s Ordinance 523 is not a land use regulation, with which the Land Use Board of Appeals has agreed.

Lincoln County, both the residents and Board of Commissioners, has taken the boldest steps in regulation of STRs in rural areas, both in passing the now-overturned ballot measure, and also in defending its restrictive STR ordinance from industry lawsuits. No other coastal county has stood up to the STR industry so robustly. ORCA is helping communities in Clatsop and other counties grapple with similar regulation issues, but county commissioners there have shown little interest in regulating STRs, despite their negative effects on communities.

Here is the link to Pro Tem Judge Allison's Lincoln County Circuit Court ruling, dated December 29, 2023.

Clatsop County to Hold Housing Amendments Workshop: January 16 at 5:00 PM

Castle Rock. Courtesy ORCA

Clatsop County is proposing some changes to the housing ordinances in order to streamline permitting, lower application fees and other items. The meeting is here:

Topic: Housing Amendments Information Session

Time: Jan 16, 2024 05:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 864 5344 5187

Passcode: 638778

Dial by your location:  1 719 359 4580 US

More information can be found here

Some of the proposed changes are poorly thought out, and will drastically affect unincorporated communities. Many changes, which would change the face of a community, such as allowing duplexes and quadraplexes in various residential zones, would be permitted as Type I decisions, which allow no public participation at all: no notice, no comment, and no appeal. Other proposals would greatly reduce minimum lot size for single-family dwellings and duplexes, thus putting a severe strain on local infrastructure. The county also seeks to eliminate the Arch Cape requirement for a conditional use permit for roads, ignoring the community’s unique problem of old subdivision plats created on a grid with no regard for local topography. “Roads to nowhere” are a particular problem in that community. 

The county is studiously ignoring short term rentals (STRs), refusing to discuss how to regulate and restrict them as a part of the housing solution. If this is not done, any new housing built is highly likely to just become more STRs.The Board of Commissioners held an initial discussion on capping STRs, without taking action, but no further discussions since.

Last, but certainly not least, the county is also dealing with the state’s mandatory requirements under HB 3197 in yet another separate forum, the planning commission. HB 3197 requires “clear and objective standards” for housing, which applies not only to UGB lands, but “unincorporated communities designated in a county’s acknowledged comprehensive plan after Dec. 5, 1994.” The county should not proceed with its proposals without waiting to see if the state will be issuing administrative rules or other guidance on this new law.

Overall, ORCA thinks that Clatsop County is jumping the gun: proposing changes that will disrupt communities and local ecologies, stress local infrastructure, and further restrict public participation in land use decision-making. It is also separating key aspects of the housing problem that need to be considered together. If you live in rural Clatsop County, come on January 16th and make your voice heard!

The Marriott Hotel Proposal in Bandon Old Town Faces a Huge Obstacle

Face Rock, Bandon. Courtesy ORPD

The proposal by Marriott Hotels to build a large, 84-room hotel on a 1.19-acre vacant lot at the west end of old town Bandon has been of great concern to many people. The lot is very small, and parking is minimal; it would further crowd Bandon’s already crowded Old Town. And it is the site of a significant settlement of the Coquille people, first occupied, according to the tribe, some 3,000 years ago, and used for generations after. The tribe was greatly disturbed by the intensive construction that would be required for the hotel, which would disturb the archaeological site, and the probable burial of many tribal members.

In December 2023 the Coquille Indian Tribe Chair, Brenda Meade, sent a letter to the representative of Old Town Partners LLC (Marriott) concerning the proposed hotel. After thanking the developers for completing archaeological work on the site, Chair Meade continued, "however, there are certain circumstances, in which we simply cannot find a way to mitigate, plan or modify projects to reduce impacts to our ancestors' burials." She added that based on the data developed during geotechnical testing and archaeological research, "we believe that, at this point, there is sufficient information available to clarify our position on this proposal...we do not see a path forward that would result in the intensive development and disturbance associated with construction of a multistory hotel in this location...The ground disturbance required to build a structure of this scale is simply not acceptable given that the location, demonstrated by Tribal tradition, decades of archaeological work, and your own contractors, is more than likely the resting place of many of our ancestors. We understand that this is disappointing that the parcel is not a feasible development location. The Tribe looks forward to exploring alternative opportunities with you.” 

What the applicant will do in the face of the tribe’s refusal to allow development at a highly significant archaeological site is unclear. But it is certain that tribal opposition is a major obstacle to a proposed Marriott hotel rising on the west edge of Bandon Old Town.

Quick Links...

Here's where you can make a difference for the Oregon coast.
Go to the ORCA website to make a donation or become a sustaining member. 
Make a Donation

Contact Information
Contact Executive Director Cameron La Follette
by email or phone: 503-391-0210
You are receiving ORCA email communications as a donor or as a person who subscribed to this email newsletter. Please click Unsubscribe below if you wish to no longer receive the Oregon Coast Alliance Newsletter.