Recent discussion and decisions made at the Manzanita Council meeting of April 6th have resulted in comments by several community members in the BBQ and other social media platforms. The bulk of the comments have been related to short-term rentals in the city. As we all strive to ensure the continued quality of life in our community, working together with accurate information is critical. The City of Manzanita elected officials and many citizen volunteers have been working towards various quality-of-life issues in our community for a number of years. In the spirit of this Councilor’s outreach and dialogue to ALL members of our community, I offer the following:
• At the April 6th City Council meeting, the Council approved by resolution a pause on the issuance of any additional short-term rental licenses beyond the existing 229 in the R2, R3 and SSR capped zones. These zones represent 90% of all short-term rentals in Manzanita.
• Prior to the vote, the Council voted to amend the resolution to exclude the C-1 and R-4 zones from the pause. Why would the Council make this modification? The main reason was that the R4 and C1 zones have never been capped and are zones intended for both denser housing, hotels, short-term rentals, and other commercial use. In Manzanita, the C1 (Commercial Zone) and R4 (Higher Density/Limited Commercial) are located on Laneda, and approximately one block to each side and provide a narrow buffer strip between the commercial and lower density housing neighborhoods.
• The R4 and C1 zones that are not part of the pause represent approximately 10% of all short-term rental licenses in Manzanita.
• The pause approved by the Council during the April 6th Council meeting is intended to allow for community study of the impact that an increasing number of short-term rentals have on the quality of life in Manzanita.
• The city has been actively involved in the identification and potential mitigation of livability concerns that short-term rentals present in our communities since 2019. A comprehensive report was issued by an appointed workgroup in February 2021 that outlined nearly 20 livability strategies and also included longer range opportunities for improvement that are currently underway. This report can be viewed at: ci.manzanita.or.us/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/FINAL-STR-WORKGROUP-REPORT-TO-THE-MANZANITA-CITY-COUNCIL-February-15-2021-transmitted-1100.pdf
• The City of Manzanita is currently recruiting volunteers to serve on a short-term rental standing committee that will conduct public meetings and outreach to ascertain even more strategies for maintaining the quality of life in Manzanita. Applications will be accepted until April 15th (tomorrow!). Interested community members should make application by completing the form located at: ci.manzanita.or.us/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/03.21.22-Application-for-STR-Committee.pdf
In addition, the Mayor and City Council have already embarked on a Budget Revenue Diversification process to explore alternative funding sources to offset the reliance on Short-Term Rental income. They will also direct the Short-Term Rental Committee to study specific livability issues in an effort to address community concerns related to STRs in residential areas. I, as an elected official, do listen to my constituents. The vast majority agree with me that we cannot and should not ban tourists from our town. Instead, we must responsibly manage our growth and the revenue needed to sustain required services.
Questions? Take the time to reach out to the city at firstname.lastname@example.org or by contacting an elected City Council member. The contact information for the City Council can be found at: ci.manzanita.or.us/city-council/.
Thank you for your interest and my very best wishes for a wonderful spring,
Steve Nuttall, Manzanita City Councilor
(NOTE:) The information and comments contained in this post are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the City of Manzanita or other City Council members.