Dear Mayor Anderson,
The Lincoln City Vacation Home Association (LCVHA), which I represent, respectfully disagrees with placement of any disclaimer on the City’s website regarding proposed changes to the VRD ordinance.
We believe there is a misunderstanding as to the value VRDs bring to Lincoln City. We are committed to providing citizens and City Council members with information necessary to ensure the right decisions are made at the Council meetings.
We are no longer experiencing the prosperity we saw in the mid-to-late 2000s. The impact of Ordinance changes that negatively impact VRDs can no longer be absorbed into this community. Real people depend on occasionally renting their home just to hold onto their properties. Many citizens depend on VRDs to keep their jobs. Additional restrictions on VRDs, including a 5-year plan to phase them out in R-1 zones, will require this Association to actively campaign in the community against such measures.
We believe simply mentioning a moratorium, a freeze, disclaimer, or any such language, will push some VRD owners into foreclosure, doing irreparable harm, and placing owners and businesses who depend on their VRD in a position to lose everything. Additionally, as we look closer into your supposed “VRD Problem”, we find you have not documented there is a significant problem. In fact, we find the number of incidents, as a percentage of overall nights spent in VRDs, is low and our initial analysis shows it might not exceed 1% of total family stays in Lincoln City over a year.
Those who claim “their” property rights are violated by VRDs are fighting to extend their rights beyond their property to their neighbor’s property; while VRD owners are simply fighting to defend their rights to use their own residential property as constitutionally defined and in doing so creating economic opportunity for this community.
The LCVHA is committed to working with the city to make sure Lincoln City’s economy does not further degrade; and VRDs are a significant portion of the local economy, bringing significant income and jobs to this city. We are prepared to defend our property rights in order to protect the city from negative effects of restrictive codes and language which this City Council is currently considering.
It is our position that your effort to place restrictive language in the VRD Ordinance and to spend $50,000+ on an arbitrator, could be better spent helping this community to understand the importance for Lincoln City to have all channels of overnight accommodation (Hotels, Motels, B&Bs and VRDs) available for our city’s main customers — tourists.
Citizens should complain, if there are problems with VRDs, to the VRD owners. VRD owners should address and resolve legitimate problems. If government is to intercede into the lives of citizens, it should do so to resolve disputes, not limit or inhibit property rights, and/or work to manipulate the market to the advantage of one group over another. Therefore, LCVHA respectfully requests no language be placed on the Lincoln City website or on any documentation regarding the City’s intention to change the VRD Ordinance.
Gregory David Spehar
The President of Lincoln City Vacation Home Association