Nanny State of the Week: You can’t be trusted to rent to your family
Residents of Cannon Beach, Oregon, who rent out their homes to friends and family members who visit on vacation in the summer might want to prepare to pay more for the privilege.
Property owners in the small resort town are learning that no amount of regulation is ever too much for local bureaucrats.
Despite already having some of the strictest rules about vacation rentals in the state, the city council is considering new ordinances that would require residents who rent out their homes to register, pay hundreds of dollars in fees and acquiesce to a government-approved inspection.
The rules are being considered by the city council without being put to the residents for a vote. And residents are not happy.
“Cannon Beach already has the most restrictive short-term rental rules on the coast,” said Alaina Giguiere at a Planning Commission meeting, as reported by the Daily Astorian. “The plan is working, our neighborhoods are protected.”
The city runs a lottery program to allow residents to participate in the rental economy. Only 92 permits are granted in a town with a population of about 1,600 residents. Taxes for these kinds of short-term rentals bring in more than $288,000 in income for the city. But the city wants more.
New rules would require a $600 fee from those wishing to rent out their homes, generating even more money for the local bureaucrats. The newly required inspection would cost an additional $125 per resident.
Residents say the rules should be eased, not toughened. “If anything, make it more lenient so the city can be enjoyed more and more,” Steve Crane, a Cannon Beach resident, told the Planning Commission.
It appears there was no particular inciting incident that provoked the changes. Just a desire to be even more of a nanny on the part of the city council.
For a resort town predicated on tourism, the possibility of putting clamps on the stock of available units could put a dent in tourist activity. The local officials in charge, however, are intent on charging ahead with minimal public input — with a plan that forces residents to submit to government inspections and pay more in fees.
Tourism? Or just renting to a couple family members in town for the summer? It doesn’t matter: the Cannon Beach city council is looking to jack up the price of summer vacation.