Concerns Over Short-Term Rentals September 17, 2021

An important component of our community’s housing stock are those homes used as rentals. Rentals can be categorized as long-term or short-term. Long-term rentals include apartments, duplexes, and single-family homes which are rented for a month or more. Most long-term rentals are rented for a year or longer. Short term rentals, commonly referred to as a vacation rental, is the leasing out of a furnished property on a short-term basis such as by the week or by the night.

Short-term rentals have become a popular alternative to hotels in the last 20 or so years, most notably with the surge of sharing economy websites such as HomeAway, Airbnb and VRBO. The attraction to short-term rentals for property owners includes the opportunity to increase rental revenues and appeals to others who are dissatisfied with the increased state regulations, (eviction regulations, rent control, etc.) on long-term rentals.

With the increasing share of the rental housing stock shifting from long-term to short-term, many cities are implementing or amending their short-term rental regulations. The implementation of new regulations is due, in part, to the need to address the ongoing housing crisis while others are aimed at reducing potential residential conflicts, such as excessive noise, increased neighborhood traffic, parking issues, trash, etc., which can occur from time to time. 

The City Council placed a temporary moratorium on permits for new short-term rentals and has asked the Planning Commission to review existing rules and regulations. The moratorium and referral to the Planning Commission was a result of concerns raised by the homeowners in the community who live on or around Prefontaine Drive. The Planning Commission will begin considering the issue at their meeting next month and will be taking public testimony. The meeting will take place on October 12, 2021, in the Council Chambers at City Hall staring at 6 p.m. I hope you will share your thoughts or concerns, either for or against short-term rentals. If your unable to attend in person, you can also send your comments to and those comments will be shared with the members of the Planning Commission. 

Formulating or amending governmental regulations is difficult at best!  Most would agree that we don’t want the government (city, county, state, and/or federal ) to tell us what we can or can't do in our personal lives or with our property. However, some of those same individuals look to government to solve issues which are caused by the behaviors of others or what neighbors are doing on their property. 

Our goal in this matter is to find a comfortable balance in zoning regulations and the regulatory processes for short-term rentals.

-Joe Benetti, Mayor of Coos Bay