An open letter to the Gearhart Planning Commission regarding transient lodging dwellings proposal(s): First, the quiet opportunists lent out their single family homes in Gearhart for short term use by friends. Then they realized it was so easy, they started charging rent to friends, relatives and acquaintances.

Next came the small investors, who realized that they could buy single family homes and capitalize their investments by renting them out regularly. More recently came the barbarians, who solicited single family home after single family home in Gearhart with promises of riches by managing their rental. Amazing, finally came the city government who saw they could augment the general fund by imposing a tax on rents.

They all have one thing in common: Money.

There is no question the city government has been too slow to react to this growing onslaught of commercial use in residential neighborhoods. Now, the matter is being resolved.

Frankly, I was initially ambivalent on the matter. After sincere effort and research, I am convinced the allowance or use of transient lodging rentals violates the letter and spirit of the Gearhart Comprehensive Plan and should be denied.

The city is required to “limit commercial activity in the City,” “prevent the City from becoming a tourist destination,” and “maintain the predominately residential character of Gearhart through appropriate zoning and land use development regulations.” Allowance of transient lodging flies in the face of these policies.

When revising the plan, “The broad community interest must be served by the change and not for just any private interest.” Well, changing the plan, etc., as proposed, other than providing more money to the government coffers, only serves to allow commercial “private” interests to prosper. Frankly, the use doesn’t even qualify for allowance under the 1994 Gearhart Comprehensive Plan and should be denied now.

This is a concise description of some of my objections to the proposals. Just because many have been getting away with this commercial activity in residential zones doesn’t mean it should be allowed to continue at all. To be more than kind to the current violators, the denial should be made effective later this year, after Labor Day, but transient lodging in single family residential zones should be terminated.

Judd Todd


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