Here are the basics about the current debate within the city about regulation (below is an excerpt from a summary written by a concerned citizen):
The City of Bend is currently considering restricting vacation rentals or even placing a cap on the number of vacation rentals allowed in the city. In particular, they may create a limit to the number of vacation rentals allowed in certain neighborhoods. The city council will be voting on November 19. There is a public hearing on October 1; if you would like to present testimony, please attend the public hearing.
Doug Laplaca, the Executive Director of Visit Bend indicated that 18% of tourism dollars coming into Bend are from vacation rental guests and that the average vacation rental guest spends $100/day in Bend. According to TravelOregon research (2011), the average visitor to Central Oregon spent $107/day. Visit Bend also noted that there were several sold out weekends in Bend this past summer with no lodging available, emphasizing that vacation rental guests are not taking business away from the hotels; there is a higher demand than there is supply in the city. There are 2 hotel projects in the "pipeline" that will not be available for at least a few years.
The 3 top "solutions" that the City of Bend is considering:
1. A temporary suspension of vacation rentals in specific neighborhoods; Century West, River West, Old Bend, (these are the neighborhoods they are hearing from the most)
2. All vacation rentals that are not properly permitted are to stop renting (also considering moving to an annual permitting at close to $500 each year)
3. Existing permitted vacation rentals are going to be reviewed and perhaps revoked
The City of Bend, much like the Portland officials have heard mostly from the neighbors who do not like vacation rentals. They are hearing a lot of the same arguments about noise, garbage, parking, parties, livability issues and decreased affordable housing. The city is also concerned about vacation rentals that do not have a local designated manager or caretaker. There is discussion about requiring all owners or managers of vacation rentals to list an after-hours phone number and contact person with their permits. The city has not heard very much from vacation rental professionals and property managers. At this time, Bend city officials do not even know what they want to vote on nor do they fully understand what the vacation rental industry is.
Vacation Rental Managers in Bend are hoping to delay the vote on November 19 until they have more time to fully educate the city officials and work with them on reasonable and fair regulations. (END EXCERPT)
Some ideas for fair regulations for vacation rentals:
- Require all vacation rental homes to be professionally managed by companies that offer 24/7 customer (and neighborhood) service and complaint management systems
- Require all vacation rental homes to impose fines to vacation home customers who violate noise ordinances
- Require all vacation rental homes to impose strict rules about number of cars per home allowed to park on streets with fines for violations
- Disallow hot tubs without sound-proof enclosures for all vacation rental homes so that customers are not tempted to disrupt neighbors late at night with hot tub activities