Open Letter to VRD Owners

February 25, 2011

Dear VRD Owners:

My name is Barry Rice and my family owns a beach house in Lincoln City, Oregon.
So do you.

We are among 321 Lincoln City property owners who use our homes as vacation rentals.

I am writing because that may be changing.

The problem: This year a proposal to eliminate vacation rentals in R-1 residential zones – where nearly two-thirds of vacation rentals are located — will most likely face a City Council vote. Why? The hard economy has prompted more homeowners to help cover costs by renting to vacationers. This increase in VRD’s (Vacation Rental Dwellings) has spurred some year-round Lincoln City residents to complain that their neighborhoods are becoming a “VRD haven.”

A possible solution: Form an association to make sure the city also hears our side. Our hope is that the City Council — as it prepares for a possible vote – appreciates what we also bring to the city. For example, as a group of 321 owners of 335 properties, we provided Lincoln City with more than $5.85 million in room tax payments in 2009.

Background: The city has increased pressure on Vacation Rental Dwellings. This last year for instance, our VRDs have gone from being simply permitted to licensed –we now must obtain a business license the same as motel and hotel owners who operate in commercial zones.

Where do we go from here? We’re forming an Internet-based association as a place to communicate with each other and to respond to proposals that could affect our property rights. Mr. Ross Smith II, a fellow VRD owner, already has put up the website for our new group – the Lincoln City Vacation Homeowners Association.

The need for our group is clear. Because only 21 of the 321 VRD owners are full-time Lincoln City residents, we need a way to participate more visibly with city government. We would require no physical meetings. I would suggest that our association collect modest dues (perhaps $50-$75 a year) to provide us capital to support a worthwhile community service project in Lincoln City and efforts to support VRD owners and protect our rights.

If you would like to join with fellow Lincoln City vacation homeowners in this cause, please go to our new website http://lcvha.com, and provide your name and email address. Please contact me, if you have questions or advice, at (503) 516-7698 or contact us via our website.

Sincerely,
Barry and Connie Rice

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15 Responses to Open Letter to VRD Owners

  1. Orville & Harriett Christeson says:

    Keep us posted…

  2. Mark Deason says:

    This is just what is needed! Organized counteraction to the militant local residents with the apparent intent of eliminating the tourist economy upon which they depend for their own existence. Is the association chartered as a non-profit organization? I am a small business owner in the state of Washington. If I can be of assistance, please so indicate.

  3. Barry says:

    Thanks for your interest Mark. The Lincoln City Vacation Homeowners Association has not applied for non-porfit status from the Internal Revenue Service. If enough of the VRD owners want to join the group and pay some dues the a lawyer will be hired to prepare the papers for Incorporation and non-profit tax exempt status. We need a critical mass to make it worthwhile. I hope we can count of you and the several other VRD owners who have responded to the mailing. Keep in touch by looking at the web site for more information and instructions. Thank you. Barry Rice

  4. Amy Taylor says:

    I contacted you Barry, but I’d like to weigh in in the public forum as well. I just got back from our house in Lincoln City, where we love to spend time. We have had our VRD for 8 or 9 years now, I think. We couldn’t afford to own our house without it, and besides being able to keep it, we’ve maintained and improved it. We’ve never had a legitimate complaint (years ago there was a grouchy renter next door who just wanted our house empty, but we won in mediation). Many houses are for sale on our Beach Ave., and many sit empty….it’s crazy to think what would happen if they barred vacation rentals. What a disaster for the economy. Besides the thousands that we pay in lodging tax and fees to the City each year, our guests spend many thousands more in the community. A quick scan of our guest book with prove that. Our guests are predominantly families, and they simply wouldn’t make the trip to stay in three hotel rooms.

    I think that the City should even implement a little PR in our favor, actually, to protect what must be many hundreds of thousands in actual income they’re getting from the VRD lodging tax.

  5. Mark and Tina Brannan says:

    We will be happy to participate as well. As relative newcomers to the city (VRD issued late 2009) we are very concerned about the actions of the city related to this significant piece of the local community’s economy.

    While purchasing glass at the local glass shop (for our vacation home), we heard the staff complaining about the traffic caused by all of the tourists. Ah, the forest for the trees.

  6. Dear Barry,

    Great minds think alike. I had gotten a list of the VRD owners in LC and was going to endeavor to do the same thing. I’m so glad you got to it first. I’m 100% behind an association. Please keep me posted.

    Thanks,

    Debbie

  7. Dear Barry,

    I had just gotten the list of VRD owners in LC to endeavor to start the same think. I’m so glad you got to it before I did. I’m 100% behind an association. The majority of VRD owners do not have a vote and need an advocate to protect their property rights where they pay property taxes and transient room tax. Count me in!

    Thanks,

    Debbie

  8. Joan and Jim Leigh says:

    Yes, we would like to join in this cause. Thanks for your work in creating the association. Joan and Jim Leigh

  9. ap says:

    please keep us informed and thank you for the work you are doing.

  10. Count us in!!

    We have 3 oceanfront VRDs …… AND we live in Lincoln City!!! My parents own the VRDs with my husband and I.

    I can clearly say as a RESIDENT of LC that the neighbor that was a pain in my @%$ on SW Anchor Ave was not a VRD so we could do NOTHING about it !! Had they been a VRD we would have known that they would have been gone at the end of the weekend and let the management company know not to rent to them again. Easy resolution ….. but the City never mentions the “local” neighbor that is loud, messy, parking problems, etc. and wont go away and no way to stop it ……. I guess they are okay????

  11. Tom & Terri Parsons says:

    Barry, received your letter regarding lcvha and think it is a great idea and would be very willing to pay modest dues to form an association to deal with some of the issues created for vrd’s. We have several that we would be willing to share about regarding T. Novak in particular and some of his action that he seems to make up as he goes along. We have had our vrd since 1988 and have never experienced problems with it.
    Let us know what transpires with this.

  12. Alvin Payne/Nancy Lepler says:

    We’ve been a VRD since 1998, (Beach Avenue Bungalow), and we have to contend with NO VRD signs next door, and along our street. What is ironic is the people who would deny homeowners like ourselves the opportunity to provide comfortable lodging to families are new arrivals. Our guestbook is full of people who are grateful to be in a home, and not a sterile hotel room. Birthdays, Anniverseries, Honeymoons, travellers from near and far (Africa!) We would be pleased to join the LCVHA and keep Lincoln City a special place to share.

  13. Shirley Workman says:

    Thanks for being on top of things. It is very important to know what the city council is considering and to be able to address or answer it in an intelligent way. You can count me in.
    Shirley

  14. Mary Jane Hovis says:

    Barry,

    Thanks for getting this started. A group of six of us own a single VRD that has been in our families and had a permit since 1963. We are very concerned that after 48 years the city may choose to tell us we no longer belong there. We would be glad to join in. Let me know what we can do.

  15. Chris says:

    Our family is in on this effort.

    Without the VRD option I am not sure that the bank might not just get our property back. Another empty foreclosure in Lincoln City, just what is needed. We have followed every rule and paid every cent in taxes owed. This quite simply allows us to keep our house at the beach. We have used a reputable management company which employs Lincoln City residents. Additionally our rental income allows us to pay for lawn and garden maintenance, another Lincoln City company. Where is the logic in this kind of tactic.

    We could go back to full time renters I suppose, but the renters we had in the past were the only ones that ever caused any problems. Our full time neighbors are very happy with the vacation rental status as it stands now. The house is far better maintained than it ever was when we had tenants.

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