County forms committee to hear short-term rental grievances

Tillamook County’s housing shortage has brought the issue of short-term rentals into debate.

By Chelsea Yarnell
Guest Contributor

In order to help the Tillamook County Board of Commissioners address the concerns of the public about the high number of short-term rental properties, the Board approved the formation of the Tillamook County Short-Term Rental Committee on July 18.

“This is something we’ve had ongoing conversations about,” Sarah Absher, director of the Department of Community Development, said. “I’m very excited to get started with this committee on helping to better address the concerns the County has been receiving in relation to short-term rentals.”

The committee consists of nine members with varying expertise and geographical residence in the county.

“It will be a well-rounded committee that will provide great representation of the vacation rental community, the real estate community…public safety, also some citizen involvement,” Absher said.

The committee will include: Nanci Sheeron and Scott Nienkamp of South County; Jim Haley of North County; Jerry Keene of Central County; Nicole Twigg representing the vacation rental management community; Pam Zielinksi representing the real estate community; Aaron Palter representing economic development; Tim Carpenter representing public safety, and Gus Meyer as a member at large.

“I look at the list and we have some really heavy hitters – it will be a great committee,” Commissioner David Yamamoto said. “We hear a lot from the community about the impacts that tourism has on the county, such as livability. It will be very interesting the type of recommendations this committee comes up with. Whether we can implement some of them or not, remains to be seen. But, I think it’s important that we do get an idea of community sentiment at this point: what people’s issues are, and are there ways we can address it.”

The committee will be looking at public concerns as well as Ordinance 84 which regulates short-term rentals in Tillamook County.

After passing Ordinance 84 in September, short-term rental homeowners (in unincorporated areas of Tillamook County) are required to obtain a vacation rental permit through the Tillamook County Community Development Department. In order to obtain a permit, homeowners must first submit drawn site plans, proof of insurance, proof of garbage service, Transient Lodging Tax registration, pay $350 in fees, and pass an inspection.

Absher told the Board that she hopes the committee can provide a recommendation of action by December.