Dunes City institutes short term rental permitting process

Courtesy photo

City Council meets for special session June 29

Updated July 12, 2022 — The Dunes City Council met for a special session on June 29 and shared a major announcement regarding rental properties with the community at the meeting.

City Administrator Jamie Mills facilitated the special session, beginning with a brief tribute to retiring Budget Committee member Bonnie Allen.

As long-time volunteer Planning Commission chair, Allen submitted her resignation from the Planning Commission effective May 19.

“The city is grateful for the hard work and many hours of dedicated service Bonnie has provided to the city, especially in the re-writing of the city’s planning and zoning codes,” Mills said. “We wish Bonnie the best of luck in all her future endeavors. She will be sorely missed.”

The issue of short-term rentals has been a subject of discussion during past Dunes City Council meetings, primarily because there have been complaints from residents living near rental units. Issues raised at council meetings and on social media platforms have included loud noise, inappropriate parking and uncontrolled visiting pets.

Mills and the council have settled on an ordinance which is designed to mitigate these issues by requiring a permit to host short term rentals.

“The Dunes City Rental Ordinance has passed and will take effect July 1. Owners and operators of short term rentals in Dunes City will no longer be allowed to advertise for rent, or rent short-term rentals, regardless of when the reservation was made, without first obtaining a permit from the city,” Mills stated.

The cost of a two-year short-term rental permit is $100. If a property owner wants to rent two or more properties, a $85 business license will also be required.

In another permit related discussion, Oregon ePermitting Program Manager Celina Patterson, for the state’s Building Codes Division (BCD), then updated the council on the best manner in which Dunes City might interact with BCD’s website.

According to Patterson, the online program should allow contractors working in and around Dunes City to obtain necessary permits more easily.

The Oregon ePermitting website allows licensed contractors to apply for building permits with just a few clicks of a mouse. Participation by cities or counties is voluntary and each participating city or county determines which permits are available for sale online. 

Councilors decided to table the item for future consideration after Patterson’s presentation.

Dunes City’s budget for years 2022-2024 was discussed briefly, with no public comments entered into the record.

During her presentation, Mills talked about the shift from a one-year budget to a two-year budget cycle — similar to the format used by neighboring City of Florence and Western Lane Fire and EMS Authority (WLFEA).

After a clarification of the numbers, the Dunes City Council moved forward with a request from Mills to approve the resolution, which was approved unanimously.

After the budget discussion, an executive session was held which focused on a consultation with legal counsel regarding a pending litigation.

In the regular session, a request from Councilor Rory Hammond to hire an engineering firm to do an inclusive study of the Dunes City water system was next considered and approved unanimously.

Councilor reports from Mayor Sheldon Meyer and Councilor Robert Orr mentioned the activities surrounding the partial removal of a stump, which has been a focus of public attention. Both men expressed their disappointment with comments left at the remaining parts of the stump.

Councilor Duke Wells asked that two items be added to the agenda of a future meeting. The first was related to the overall number of short-term rentals that will be allowed in city limits and the second was a request that the council take up the issue of drones and the potential regulation of those crafts.

The June 29 Special Session can be seen in full at youtu.be/I-UkHENSZe8. The next Dunes City Council meeting will be held on July 20.

For more information, visit www.dunescityhall.com.