IN REPLY TO "MOVIN' ON UP" (10/1)
"Millenials don't tend to drive single occupancy vehicles," OSU attorney Janik argued. "They tend to use other modes." I wonder if Mr Janik has ever stood at the roundabout at College Way and Newport Avenue when classes get out to see how many cars have more than one occupant. I say "not many." And I bet that Mr Janik wouldn't be run over with all the bikes flying down College Way when classes get out!
Complying with the City Code, as OSU attorneys, and City Council contend... But in some ways, that is merely saying that any measure of just common sense and integrity goes out the window. I mean according to code we didn't really create a traffic issue, or a housing issue or fail to see the big picture issue. How about thinking outside the box OSU? I mean you do represent an educational institution of higher learning. Just because you can attune to code doesn't mean being smart about how you develop property should only address minimum requirements. I expect you to set an example...that you somehow aspire to something greater...something imaginative, something that sees obvious issues and creatively addresses them. My next big question is OSU's lip service to a "sustainable campus" architecturally. How committed are you to that...or will you just paint the buildings various shades of green and earth tones and simply call them green by looking so?
OSU has gone above and beyond to comply with code and expecting them to do more than any other land developer is ridiculous. Apparently, westside residents feel entitled to decide who can drive on their side of town and who can park on their (public) streets. Textbook NIMBYism. OSU-Cascades is going forward, as planned, regardless of how many weak anecdotes the Truth in Site coalition can dish out. "Kleinman, the attorney for Truth in Site, countered that Bend is not like those other cities, that 'the transit habits are not there.'" So much for this "active" Central Oregon lifestyle I'm always hearing about...
ON (AND ON AND ON) VACATION RENTALS
I am in full support of efforts to update codes regarding vacation rentals in Bend, especially as it pertains to registration requirements as well as the collection of appropriate taxes. I do foresee the Bend City Council rushing through a process that could potentially cost taxpayers dearly when affected vacation rental homeowners file lawsuit after lawsuit. I am also worried City Council will be unable to look past just the problems of their affluent westside neighbors, residents that moved to a tourist town and are now complaining about tourists.
Will the City Council take into account the hundreds of residents who are being evicted from homes owned by landlords looking to cash in on the tourism market? These same residents are the ones who rely on tourism dollars to pay their rents as they attempt to eek out a living in Bend. Will the City Council be looking at other rental housing in the area. I would guess hundreds of Bend residents are affected daily by long-term rental homes in their neighborhoods. Residents in these westside neighborhoods should be grateful they only have to deal with the issue a few months of the year.
The issue of housing in Bend is complex, and goes way beyond vacation rentals. I ask members of the Bend City Council to consider this in the next few months as you gather to come up with an answer, one that focuses on all residents of this community, not just a few.
In reply to Angela Stroh's letter... "We want to be part of this community, but need to have a period of transition to reside more permanently in Bend, which entails being able to rent out our new beautiful home, under the supervision of a property manager who knows and enforces the city laws and ordinances." If you want to be a part of this community, why don't you consider renting your house out to a long term renter who is actually a part of the community and not a transient. Stay in your friend's vacation rental when you come to Bend to visit, or better yet, a hotel! "Our vacation rental will contribute to the health and vitality of Bend, through the transient room tax..." Your vacation rental will contribute little to the health and vitality of Bend, because health and vitality is not just about money. I work in tourism, but the tourism industry needs to adopt a triple bottom line, not just one that says "more people, more money" is good. Contributing to the transient room tax funds an organization (Visit Bend) whose sole purpose it is to get more transients here to spend more money...something that we have plenty enough of right now. On top of that, a lot of the profits from lodging go to big corporations that own chains here or to vacation rental owners who don't even live here. So you can keep your transient room tax, and why not buy property when you're ready to really invest in this community, instead of just making profits off the work of our destination marketing organization?
We can't say that Bend is rolling out the welcome mat too widely for the Strohs. But we are sure that line of questioning worked up a good thirst, though; Laurel, how about stopping by to pick up your Letter of the Week $5 certificate to Palate, where old and newcomers are always welcome.