Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Lincoln County lodging moratorium approved

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Order 3-23-85 – Minimize the effects of the COVID-19 Emergency – was approved during a joint emergency meeting by the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners and mayors, city councils and staff of all Lincoln County Cities.

The order is a move to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus and a concerted effort between Lincoln County and the cities of Siletz, Newport, Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Toledo, Waldport and Yachats.

Short term lodging for all of Lincoln County has been closed with exceptions listed in the full order below.

BEFORE THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS FOR LINCOLN COUNTY, OREGON

In the Matter of  ORDER NO. 3-23-85

Exercising Authority to Act to Protect Lincoln County Citizens and Minimize the Effects of the COVID-19 Emergency                                                                          

WHEREAS Lincoln County, by Resolution dated March 13, 2020 and ratified and extended by the Board of Commissioners on March 18, 2020[1], declared an emergency in Lincoln County created by the COVID -19 pandemic crisis which is threatening citizens of Lincoln County[2]; and

WHEREAS the Cities of Lincoln City[3], and Newport[4], have also declared emergencies and the Cities of Toledo, Depoe Bay, Yachats and Waldport have recently adopted declarations or are planning to adopt declarations and/or have taken precautionary actions including closing public facilities to address the crisis; and

WHEREAS the Governor of the State of Oregon declared a state of emergency for the entire state on March 8, 2020 finding that COVID-19 has created a threat to public health and safety and constitutes a statewide emergency under ORS 401.025(1)[5]; and

WHEREAS the President of the United States signed a proclamation declaring a national emergency concerning the novel coronavirus disease (COVID -19) outbreak on March 13, 2020; and

WHEREAS local, state and national public health agencies[6] have instituted guidelines, recommendations and actions to curb the spread of the disease in an attempt to “flatten the curve” of the disease’s progression in the United States.  Many of those recommendations have been adopted by States and local governments across the country.  In Oregon, the Governor has issued Executive Orders 20-3 through 20-20 to slow the spread of the virus through closure of schools, restricting restaurants and bars to carry out and delivery dining, limitations on public gatherings, higher education restrictions and other requirements; and

WHEREAS the Governor has directed Oregonians to “stay at home to stay healthy”[7] through social distancing actions undertaken by each Oregonian.  Social distancing includes taking “staycations” (stay at home) during what is normally the spring break season in Oregon and surrounding states. This also includes voluntarily limiting trips and contact with other people[8]; and

WHEREAS the implementation of the Governor’s social distancing order and public campaign has not proven effective on the Central Oregon Coast in Lincoln County as significant out of county visitors have continued to come to the Coast in recent days despite the stay at home order/directive.  Repeated instances of violation of the social distancing norms have placed county resources and residents at much greater risk of the spread of the virus.  Closure of short term rentals in northern parts of the Oregon Coast[9] threaten to move significant vacationers south to Lincoln County if no actions are taken; and

WHEREAS numerous public and private health officials in the state of Oregon[10] and beyond have called for more stringent and aggressive social distancing measures including stay at home/shelter at home mandates because the voluntary social distancing actions are not being followed in many areas including the Central Oregon Coast; and

WHEREAS the Lincoln County Public Health Administrator and Local Health Officer both confirm that continued influxes of visitors, turning over on a short term basis,  increases the likelihood of the spread of the coronavirus more than longer term tenancies  and threatens the limited health care resources available in Lincoln County and therefore recommend the County consider temporarily limiting short term visitors to the County until the crisis ends; and

WHEREAS it is necessary that a coordinated and collaborative action be taken by all impacted jurisdictions in Lincoln County and therefore concurrence of the city councils of all County coastal cities (Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Newport, Waldport, Siletz, Toledo and Yachats) is necessary to full implement the action authorized by this Order and desired from the cities of Siletz and Toledo to evidence the full support of Lincoln County entities; and

WHERAS pursuant to the authority granted the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners under ORS Chapter 401, ORS Chapter 431 as the Local Public Health Authority, Lincoln County Ordinance # 502[11] (Emergency Services) and the Lincoln County Emergency Operations Plan[12],  the Board of Commissioners deems it necessary to institute a temporary order closing hotels, motels, short-term rentals and homestay lodging, RV parks and public and private campgrounds  to recreational visitors.

NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED AS FOLLOWS:

  1. State parks are closed by Order of the Governor. County and city parks are closed to camping except for camp hosts or other persons authorized by the County or City for stays 30 days or longer until the emergency ends.
  2. All short term rentals, defined as rentals of a duration of less than 30 days, in vacation rental dwellings or short term dwellings and homestay lodgings, are prohibited in Lincoln County until the declared emergency ends (April 30, 2020) or this prohibition is otherwise ended or modified by separate Order of the Board of Commissioners, whichever occurs first.
  3. All hotels and motels, RV Parks and Private Campgrounds and similar lodgings or housing not identified above are closed to short term rentals of less than 30 days except as follows:
  4. Stays for 30 days or longer are allowed.
  5. Local county residents effecting a COVID-19 self-quarantine or who have moved from their local residence in order to allow a family member or roommate to self-quarantine in their local residence.
  6. Families or individuals residing in lodging for less than 30 days if this is their only means of shelter. Includes, but is not limited to, vouchers for stay provided by local or regional governments or nonprofit agencies.
  7. Employees of the facility provided lodging as a requirement or benefit of their employment.
  8. Patients or families of patients receiving medical care at local facilities.
  9. Essential workers, including but not limited to doctors, nurses, other health staff, home and health care workers, Coast Guard members, truck drivers and supply providers, workers in the county whose employer pays for lodging, construction workers on local projects (including public contractors), utility crews, and other persons whose work in the county requires temporary accommodations.
  10. Other persons or categories of people who City managers or County Counsel deem consistent with the intent of this Order, after consultation with the Local Public Health Administrator.
  11. All pools, spas and other public bathing facilities are closed at lodging properties for the duration of this Order.
  12. Lodging property owners or managers are required to keep a log of what exception is met by current lodgers. This list will be made available upon request to city and county officials.
  13. This Order takes effect upon adoption by the County. Property owners and managers of properties effected by paragraphs 1-3 above shall take all reasonable steps to terminate current occupancy of any guests not exempted herein by no later than 12:00 (noon) on Wednesday March 25, 2020. No new occupancies in violation of this Order may be rented effective 8:00 am Tuesday March 24, 2020.
  14. This Order may be modified, rescinded or extended by authority of the Board of Commissioners in consultation with the Cities and Local Public Health Administrator. If so modified, a copy shall be provided to the Cities of Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Newport, Toledo, Siletz, Waldport and Yachats.
  15. This Order was presented and concurred to by either authorized city personnel or the direct action of the City Councils of the City of Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Newport, Waldport and Yachats on March 23, 2020 at a joint public meeting with the Board of Commissioners and therefore applies within the incorporated boundaries of those cities. At any time, the City Council of any of these cities may opt by Council Action to rescind that concurrence, at which time the Order will have no effect within the boundaries of that city without necessity of any further action.
  16. Copies of this Order shall be provided to Jenny Demaris, Emergency Manager, Wayne Belmont, County Counsel, and representatives of each of the cities listed above.

DATED:  March 23, 2020

LINCOLN COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

Kaety Jacobson, Chair

Doug Hunt, Commissioner

Claire Hall, Commissioner

[1] Resolution # 20-18-3A, signed by Chair Jacobson on March 13, 2020, ratified by the full Board on March 18, 2020.  Resolution # 20-18-3B adopted by the Board on March 18, 2020 extended the declaration through April 30, 2020.

[2] The Declaration of an Emergency applies throughout Lincoln County since this health issue is not confined to specific geographic portions of the County but threatens county residents across the entire County.  On March 11, 2020 the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) declared the threat pandemic in the US and cases have been reported in all 50 states.

[3] Resolution No. 2020-06 dated March 16, 2020.

[4] Affirmed by the City Council on March 16, 2020.

[5] Executive Order No. 20-3

[6] Including but not limited to Lincoln County Public Health, a division of the Lincoln County Health and Human Services Department (County Public Health), the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), and the federal Center for Disease Control (CDC).

[7] Characterized as an order and public awareness campaign according to the Governor in a press conference held March 20, 2020 with the Mayor of Portland and Chair of the Multnomah County Commissioners.

[8] As recommended by Public Health Officials in Washington, Multnomah, Clackamas, Columbia and Clark County Washington in a press conference on March 19, 2020.

[9] To date, the Cities of Warrenton, Seaside, Astoria, and Tillamook and Clatsop counties have all acted to limit or prohibit short term occupancies in their respective jurisdictions during this emergency.

[10] Including but not limited to the Oregon Public Health Association, the Oregon Nurses Association, and the Oregon Academy of Family Physicians.

 

[11] Not yet codified in the Lincoln County Code.

 

[12] Adopted by Order NO. 8-18-206.

 

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Justin Werner
Justin Wernerhttps://wernerhost.com/
Justin Werner is founder and publisher of Lincoln City Homepage and a journalist reporting news for the fine citizens of Lincoln City, Oregon and beyond. He's on a mission to seek out truth and isn't afraid to be the tip of the spear for freedom of the press. When he's not wearing his reporter hat, you can find him enjoying the Oregon Coast with his wife and three children.

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