A planning commissioner’s effort to show support for a vacation rental moratorium in Seaside failed to gain support.
Kathy Kleczek, the vice chairwoman of the Planning Commission, moved that the commission make a formal recommendation to the City Council to declare a moratorium on new conditional use permits for vacation rentals.
“It is basically putting the ball in their court,” she said at the January commission meeting. “Since we can’t actually create a moratorium — that’s the City Council’s job — I wanted to officially say, ‘Here you go. We want you to do this.’”
Her motion went without a second.
In late November, the Planning Commission and City Council met in a joint workshop on short-term rentals. Topics included a potential moratorium on conditional use permits for vacation rentals, designed to give the council time to study the impact of short-term rentals on affordable housing and city infrastructure.
Concerns have been raised about planning ahead for the cost that would be incurred should the city decide to place a moratorium on vacation rentals and study the effects of existing regulations or placing limits.
“We as a Planning Commission appeared to be in agreement following the joint meeting that the current VRD (vacation rental dwelling) vs. long-term rental situation, or housing in general, bears looking into in-depth to make sure the best interests of the community are being served.”
Commissioners said it is the City Council’s, not the Planning Commission’s, responsibility to take the lead in shaping the ordinance.
Commissioner Seth Morrisey, who is also a former city councilor, said the decision to declare a moratorium should come from the council, not the commission.
“They’re more of the political body,” he said. “I feel that it would be more appropriate if they actually initiated this, if that’s what they want to do.”
Commissioner Jon Wickersham said he sought “a little bit more information about why we’re making a recommendation and maybe a little more structure around that recommendation.”
After the meeting, Kleczek said she was disappointed by the Planning Commission’s decision. “Not seconding a motion to me indicates an unwillingness to discuss an issue,” she said.
“I hope that the City Council does move forward with a moratorium of some form. My motion was not detailed intentionally, so that the council would be the body to determine the form a moratorium would take, depending on the time frame and direction their action would take — study stand-alone or in conjunction with the comprehensive plan review.”