Earlier this year, there was an observed lack of policy regulating short-term or vacation rentals. So, in response, the Clackamas County Planning Department took to the communities countywide to find out how people felt about adding rules to how people rent out their properties.
"While short-term/vacation rentals are an increasingly popular way for people to find a place to stay and an additional source of income for homeowners," Planning Director Jennifer Hughes said in a statement, "they can also cause trash, noise, parking and other problems for neighbors. There can also be serious safety considerations such as access for emergency vehicles and fire code compliance."
The rise in use of online rental sites like Vacasa and Airbnb, has grown in popularity of non-traditional vacation housing in the already recreational destination areas of Clackamas County. Planners hosted a handful of public meetings around the county, soliciting feedback to form a draft policy, which they presented to the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners on Aug. 6.
Draft regulations, a recording of the Aug. 6 meeting and information on how to comment on the regulations are available at clackamas.us/planning/str.
"It seems there's a lot of support for allowing short-term rentals," Senior Planner Martha Fritzie told The Post.
Suggestions on possible regulations and the proposed level of regulation varied among communities. "We saw a wide range of opinions from 'don't regulate' to heavy regulation," Fritzie noted. "The primary concerns on (Mount Hood) were noise, nuisance and fire-related."
Most concerns were related to neighborhood impact, she added, and a few worried it would be difficult to actually enforce rules. Some even suggested a difference in how Mount Hood, notably one of the most popular destinations in the county, and the other areas of the county were regulated. "We're trying to be thoughtful and write regulations that can be enforced," Fritzie said.
Commissioners voiced similar concerns about neighborhood impact, and also about the stock of affordable housing and the impact on that in Clackamas County.
Planners will return to the commission Sept. 25 with additional information. The public is welcome to attend the meeting but will not be allowed to comment. There will be another public comment period following the meeting.
"We're hopeful to have a policy by the end of the year with public hearings prior to adoption," Fritzie said.
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