Seaside has hired a code compliance officer.
Jeff Flory joins the community development department after spending more than 12 years with the Beaverton Police Department and three years with both the Hood River County Sheriff’s Office and Mount Hood Meadows Ski Resort where his work focused on patrol, enforcement, safety, guest service and security.
Flory will process complaints, conduct safety inspections and enforcement designed to cut down on quality-of-life issues related to vacation rental dwellings.
He starts Tuesday.
Flory’s salary will be $4,300 per month plus benefits. Funding for the position’s salary and equipment comes from vacation rental permit license fees.
Hiring for the position began in March and came after discussions dating back to 2017.
Last year, the Planning Commission brought an array of options to City Council, including caps for the number of vacation rental dwellings in Seaside, licensing limits for property owners and the hiring of a code officer to conduct inspections and monitor complaints.
Without an enforcement officer, that could be an “exercise in futility,” commissioners said at the time.
The city unanimously approved the increased annual permit fee to fund the position in October. The increase added $400 to each permit fee regardless of size.
There are about 425 vacation rental dwellings in Seaside, the majority designated small- or medium-occupancy.
Vacation rental homeowners have come before City Council twice since the increase, seeking a reduction in the increase and asking for reconsideration of hiring a code compliance officer, and revision of the permit fee scale to be set at a much lower rate. They say the fee increase is disproportionate and was implemented without adequate public input or city outreach.
If there’s a time the city needs a code compliance officer, “it’s now,” City Councilor Tita Montero said. “He’s going to have a baptism by fire.”