Dear Seaside Mayor and City Council,
It was our hope that you would have at least acknowledged our recent communications and responded to us by now. Your lack of communicating with us Seaside vacation rental dwellling owners all along remains a serious disappointment for us all and frankly kind of a slap in the face. Ignoring does not feel like how you should be treating a group of Seaside property owners who contribute so significantly to your city budget and the general well-being of Seaside.
We would like to remind you of the overall significance of Seaside’s approximate 400 VRD owners in case you have lost sight of the collective value that VRDs bring to the City that you currently oversee.
The most significant benefit that VRDs bring to Seaside is a very personal lodging option for families and groups of visitors who are seeking that true sense of staying in your own beach house while in Seaside
• $1 million of annual lodging taxes paid to the Seaside budget, about 20% of your total lodging tax revenue
• $200,000 of annual VRD license fees, way more than fully funding the new compliance officer position
• $200 million of estimated total property valuation = approximately $1.5 million of direct tax support to Seaside
What we are specifically asking for is that you arrange a Zoom meeting inviting all Seaside VRD owners to have an opportunity to dialog with you and the appropriate city staff personnel regarding review of the VRD license fees and how those fees are currently being utilized.
Since you imposed this outsized fee increase on us this year it seems only fair that you now provide us some accountability for this 400% increase.
More specifically, we were never successful in getting data from you supporting the primary concerns you all expressed of significant negative citizen complaints on VRDs in your neighborhoods.
Since citizen complaints was communicated to us as being a primary driver in hiring a full-time VRD compliance officer, we now feel it is time to be getting some data that supports your actions, which we still think was a huge overreach on your part.
Besides this we were told on a couple of occasions earlier this year that you would be reviewing the economics of your VRD oversight process before the end of this year. Our recollection is that this understanding was communicated to us during conversations we had with Councilman Seth Morrisey and on a separate occasion with Planning Director Kevin Cupples.
Our $500 VRD annual license fee that you chose raises double what you need to support your full-time officer. In addition, $500 is close to the annual business license fee for a 50-room motel in Seaside.
The VRD annual fee seems very disproportionate when you consider all the city services that are needed to support the number of guests that occupy 50 rooms in one of your motels versus our smaller VRDs that typically may have four to 10 guests. It is time for a more honest and fuller reckoning of your VRD oversight process and the fees associated with that process.
We have been attempting to be respectful with our requests including allowing you time to do what was necessary during these past eight months while you worked out the kinks in your new VRD compliance process.
You all totally ignoring our request to discuss some accountability makes it more difficult to maintain this respect. Since you have chosen to not communicate with Seaside Vacation Rental Owners Association at all, we have now recommended to our 100+ participants to make contact directly with you to express their concerns personally about your unwillingness to respond to our requests for accountability and review. You may be hearing from some of them soon. We remain hopeful that you will also show some mutual respect and communicate with us soon to arrange a virtual meeting such as we have suggested. Thank you.
Seaside Vacation Rental Owners Association