The Oceansider obtained a copy of the letter in question, which will be made part of the Committee’s public record. In it, OCH’s attorneys delivered a clear message to the county: collaborate or litigate. Here is a link:
The OCH letter specifically demanded that “current [STR] permit holders must be grandfathered into whatever scheme the County adopts next;” that they remain entitled to transfer their permits to new owners, and that STR owners not be required to update their houses to meet current building codes. The group also contested the county’s authority to regulate STRs as businesses rather than as protected “uses” under Oregon’s land use laws and procedures. The letter concluded that OCH “remains interested in a collaborative solution” based on what it termed “clear legal answers” to the challenges they raised and advised that the county’s failure to engage them on that basis would prompt Oregon Coast Hosts to “consider other options.”
Community Development Director Sarah Absher, who leads the STR Committee meetings, ultimately responded to Babbitt that membership in such advocacy groups had been “vetted” through County Counsel when the appointments were made and did not bar participation on the Committee. Without responding to the substance of the letter itself, Absher also assured the group that all such external communications are directed to the Committee for the record and play no independent role in the county’s committee process. For her part, Hillary Gibson assured Babbitt and the Committee that she separates her role on the OCH Board from that of serving as Neskowin’s committee representative and focuses only on the latter during committee meetings. Nicole Twigg further explained that, as a vacation rental manager, she primarily participates in OCH for networking and as an educational resource for best practices and industry trends.
And that’s the view from Oceanside!