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County Extends Moratorium On Short Term Rentals

The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners approved to extend the moratorium on short term rental (STR) licenses in the unincorporated areas of Lincoln County. The current moratorium was set to expire in September. This does not allow any new licenses for STR's except for rural residential locations. The moratorium allows time to address some of the issues associated with implementation of Ordinance 523, the new vacation rental ordinance passed in October 2020.

Although there are ongoing legal challenges to 523, the courts have not blocked the measure. This decision will move forward with the provisions of the measure, including possible caps on new licenses in some or all parts of the county, lowered occupancy limits for some STR's, new septic requirements, tightened requirements for existing licensees to renew, and hiring of a hearings officer to handle formal complaints more quickly than the courts will be able to deal with them.

Earlier this month the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals ruled that a voter-approved ballot measure 21-203 that would phase out vacation rentals in unincorporated Lincoln County violates Oregon law and is invalid. This latest moratorium was extended by six months. Commissioners will also work with staff to adjust the fees associated with STR licensing fees and fees regarding violations. Part of the problem is many owners of STR's are located in other states or outside the county and it is challenging to stop those who are operating illegally.

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