It was standing room only at the RICAP 6 Open House on Feb. 11, 2014, as the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability Code Development Team presented information and fielded questions and comments on the Regulatory Improvement Code Amendment Package (RICAP) proposals. While the RICAP 6 Discussion Draft comprises 45 issues ranging from minor clarifications to fence regulations to more substantive changes to wireless facility requirements, the overwhelming interest was focused on the short term rental regulations.
Staff opened the meeting with a short presentation about the RICAP 6 process and timeline, and opportunities to get involved moving forward. The presentation then shifted to short term rentals: what they are, the current regulations that apply to them, and the proposal to address one- and two-bedroom operations in residential zones.
Staff from the Revenue Bureau and Bureau of Development Services were also on hand to help explain the existing transient lodging tax requirements and code compliance process.
Attendees included people interested in starting their own short term rental operation, those who are or had been operating a short term rental, and neighbors concerned about potential impacts from these operations. Staff heard questions about impacts to affordable housing and requirements for neighbor notification and hosting, as well as concerns about safety and security for both visiting guests and other residents in the neighborhood. Some also expressed concern about existing limits on allowed social gatherings for properties that are running a short term rental. Some attendees felt that the proposal did not go far enough in addressing absentee whole-house short term vacation rentals (which are prohibited), while others felt that the proposal was going too far by placing restrictions on the one- and two-bedroom operations.
Comments on this and the other 44 issues in the RICAP 6 Discussion Draft can be submitted until Feb. 21, 2014. Staff will then review, analyze, and incorporate feedback into a Proposed Draft to be released in March. The Planning and Sustainability Commission will hold a public hearing and take testimony on April 22, 2014. After that they will make their recommendation to City Council, who will hold an additional public hearing in late spring.
For more information
RICAP 6 (Bureau of Planning and Sustainability)
www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/ricap or call 503-823-6879
Transient Lodging Tax Information (Revenue Bureau)
www.portlandoregon.gov/revenue or 503-823-5157
Current Zoning Regulations (Bureau of Development Services)
www.portlandoregon.gov/bds or 503-823-7526