Oregonians in Action Legal Center v. City of Lincoln City

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Municipal Law
  • Date Filed: 04-22-2015
  • Case #: Nos. 2014-108/2015-002/003
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Opinion by Ryan
  • Full Text Opinion

In relation to the Lincoln City ordinances, LUBA clarified that the needed housing statute, ORS 197.303(1), did not extend to vacation homes, and that the Housing Element referencing “seasonal residents seeking shelter” was limited to part-time residents and excluded temporary tourists.

Challenges to three Lincoln City ordinances (the Ordinances) were consolidated on appeal: in LUBA No. 2014-108, petitioners appealed the creation of a new Vacation Rental (VR) zoning district (Ordinance 2015-002); LUBA No. 2015-002 regarded an amendment to the special use provisions of the city's zoning regulations on vacation rental dwellings (Ordinance 2014-22); and, LUBA No. 2015-003, petitioners challenged the provisions of Title V of the city's municipal ordinances issuing vacation rental dwelling business licenses (Ordinance 2014-23). LUBA denied petitioners' motion to suspend appeals since the Ordinances were subject to referenda in the 2015 election, and because the petitioners' arguments supporting assignments of error were intertwined and not independent challenges. LUBA No. 2015-003 was transferred to district court because Ordinance 2014-03 is not a land use decision pursuant to ORS 197.015(10)(a), nor did it convert to a “land use regulation” by referring to a business license requirement.
Petitioners' appeal focused on Ordinance 2014-22 and argued that the Ordinances in aggregate limited a property owner's ability to accommodate “the seasonal resident seeking shelter” and therefore conflicted with the Housing Element and Needed Housing Statute. LUBA disagreed with petitioners' interpretation of “seasonal residents” extending to tourists, nor did it accept the argument that the Housing Element and Housing Inventory would identify rental dwellings as needed housing. LUBA held that the Ordinances did not create additional limits on vacation rental dwelling of single-family second homes and denied the initial two assignments of error. The third and fourth assignments were denied because petitioners' arguments were premature, presuming that the city would actually apply VR zoning to city property. In addition, petitioners failed to demonstrate that the Ordinances would reduce the supply of commercial and industrial land available for economic development purposes. LUBA No. 2014-108 AFFIRMED; LUBA No. 2015-002 AFFIRMED; LUBA NO. 2015-003 TRANSFERRED.