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County to finalize short term rental regulations by 2021 posted on 11/01/2020

The Clackamas Board of County Commissioners (BCC) renewed efforts to complete the long-delayed short-term/vacation rental (STR) regulations for unincorporated Clackamas County at a Oct. 13 policy session.

The BCC announced a series of upcoming public hearings on the proposed county code amendments in November and December. The BCC will vote on the matter before the end of 2020, with any new regulations going into effect on July 1, 2021.

“It’s an aggressive schedule because (the BCC) has prioritized this and has instructed staff to do whatever we can to get it done by the end of 2020,” said Clackamas County Planning Director Jennifer Hughes during the policy session.

The regulations were first drafted in 2019 following extensive public polling in the mountain communities.

“This draft is really the result of over a year of work, of research and public outreach,” said Martha Fritzie, the county’s principal planner.

The public review process of the draft has been delayed since March as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and wildfires in the county.

Fritzie stated the county defines a STR as “a dwelling unit, or portion of a dwelling unit, or a guest house that is rented to any person or entity for lodging or residential purposes, for a period of up to 30 consecutive nights.”

The proposed code amendments will require STR owners to register rentals with the county finance department every two years and pay an estimated $800-900 fee to cover the costs of administration and enforcement. The regulations will establish rules regarding maximum occupancy, fire and safety requirements, off-street parking, garbage pick-up and quiet hours for the rental properties.

“These regulations will be enforced by the Sheriff’s Department or Code Enforcement, depending on the issue,” Fritzie said.

The new regulatory program will be created to be “full cost recovery” and fund its operation from the predicted STR registration fees. The program will create two full time employee positions with the county, one for the administration of the program and the other to handle additional code enforcement.

Readings of the draft establishing the new registration program and regulations in the county code will be held at the 10 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 5 and the 10 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 19 business meetings.

Public hearings on amending the county’s Zoning & Development Ordinance (ZDO) will be held at a Planning Commission meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 23 and during a BCC Land Use Hearing at 9:30 a.m., Wednesday, Dec. 9.

The public are invited to comment in writing or at any of the hearings. All of the hearings will be held on Zoom due to the ongoing pandemic.

The BCC is scheduled to take action on the proposed code amendments at its regular business meeting on Thursday, Dec. 17.

Community members who not able to attend a hearing are welcome to submit their comments before the hearings to Principal Planner Martha Fritzie at mfritzie@clackamas.us or by US Mail to Planning & Zoning, Development Services Building, 150 Beavercreek Road, Oregon City, OR 97045.

The draft regulations and details of upcoming public hearings are available at www.clackamas.us/planning/str. Information on how to connect to meetings and hearings on Zoom will be posted one week before each event.

By Ben Simpson/MT

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