Despite an increase in short-term rental permits, Brookings City Council decided not to change the city’s rules on short-term vacation rentals at a workshop meeting on Monday.
With a growing need for long-term housing and community concerns that short-term vacation rentals – including those from Airbnb and other online rentals – are hurting the long-term housing market, the council met with city staff to consider placing a cap on the amount of short-term rentals allowed within city limits. According to a report from city staff, there are 42 short-term vacation rentals in Brookings and 22 of them have been posted online in the past three years.
Mayor Ron Hedenskog said the number of vacation rentals represents less than 1% of Brookings’ more than 6,000 homes.
âI feel like the numbers are insignificant, so it doesn’t have a big impact on our city,â Hedenskog said. “The big numbers in my mind would be 10%, so 1% is still a long way off.”
By comparison, Gold Beach has 21 short-term vacation rentals, and the city recently capped rentals in residential areas at that number. In Bandon, there are 64 rentals and no caps, and Reedsport only has 6 vacation rentals with no caps, although city council is considering imposing more restrictions.
In agreement with the mayor and city staff, council members also opposed imposing a cap on short-term rentals, including Councilor Brad Alcorn.
âI am looking for an answer to solve the problem of the lack of available housing, and this number is so low, even though we have restricted 1%, it is a band-aid. This will not solve the problem at all, âhe said.
Later in the meeting, the discussion turned to the urgent need for affordable housing in the community.
The most recent Housing Needs Assessment report for Brookings was completed in 2017 by the non-profit South Coast Development Council. In the report, researchers found that Brookings needed 452 subsidized rental units. Additionally, the researchers found that Brookings could support up to 80 new homes in a price range of 140,000 to 300,000.
Anthony Baron, director of public works, said a few housing estates had been built since then, but the need for more houses persisted.
In a July 8 post on the Facebook group, “Del Norte Curry Homes for Rent and For Sale,” Myriah Thurston wrote that she was looking to rent a 2-3 bedroom home for around $ 2,000 per month.
âI know it’s long but it’s worth a try; I have contacted all the real estate agents in town before, either they have no rentals or they just don’t call you back … If anyone knows of anything available in Brookings, Crescent City or the surrounding area , please [message] me.”
Posts like this can be found on many of the Brookings community’s social media pages.
To get lots of houses built quickly, Alcorn said the city would have to look for ways to attract large developers, which may include building water and sewerage up to the future Lone Ranch mega-development.
Lone Ranch is a potential mega-project near Lone Ranch Beach and the Brookings Campus of Southwestern Oregon Community College that could include 1,000 residential units consisting of townhouses, single-family homes and condos, on 553 acres of land. The Lone Ranch master plan also includes a lodge, neighborhood park, small shopping area, and 370 acres of trails. Currently the property is owned by one of the largest mining companies in the world, Rio Tinto, and they are actively seeking real estate developers.
Going forward, Alcorn said the city could potentially partner with the county to use some of the $ 4.4 million in US bailout funds to invest in a development, such as Lone Ranch, which could solve bigger problems in the community.
“I see three major issues here in this community: mental health, the issues of our homeless community and affordable housing for the workforce … I would like to focus our financial resources to start addressing these. real problems. “