BEND, OR — Deschutes County may require short-term rentals in unincorporated areas to have a business license. Commissioners decided Wednesday to form a work group made up of county staff and others to create applicant rules.
Commissioner Phil Chang wants to make sure there are basic standards.
“I think there’s definitely opportunities to take the experience of other counties and then tailor it for our local setting. I mean, I think that would be some of the real value of having a work group,” Chang said adding, “This is not anti-business. This is ensuring that businesses are being good neighbors.
Commissioner Patti Adair said it’s important to establish enforceable standards, “I think we have lost a lot of civility. You see it almost every day and, just by having these guidelines, I think it will, it’ll be protective. We will give Deschutes County residents that are close to the rental…. the fact that their rights are being respected, and their peace and quiet are being respected.”
Commissioners heard from legal counsel that it’s important to have enforceable guidelines for safety and living standards, including fire, water, and property management to avoid liability. “If you give a certificate of authority to a facility and they’re putting people in a garage that doesn’t have secondary egress and there’s a fire and someone gets hurt or dead, the county’s going to get sued, “said County attorney Dave Doyle.
The plan is for the work group to convene over the next few months to work on licensing requirements which have been drafted by County staff.