The July 19 Shady Cove City Council Meeting was full of hot topics, fit for a hot July evening. Vacation rentals in R1 zones were discussed during the study session, and that issue drew the largest crowd. The actual topic was how to enforce the current ordinance. Two homes were erroneously granted licenses to operate vacation rentals in an R1 zone and there is one known unlicensed rental home. With complaints bringing these to the Council’s attention, the ordinance must be enforced. After much discussion, the city council decided to give the licensed homes until the end of the calendar year to comply with the ordinance. The unlicensed home will have 30-60 days to comply. However, the matter isn’t at rest just yet. Due in part to varying council opinions on the idea of allowing such rentals and several folks speaking up in favor of amending the ordinance, the issue will be turned over to the Planning Commission. The commission will hold a future town hall-type meeting where citizens on both sides can weigh in. The commission can then decide whether or not to pursue an ordinance change.
Also during the study session was a discussion on adding language to the City Employee Handbook forbidding employees to carry concealed weapons in City Hall. After much discussion the council remained split. The council decided to seek a legal opinion on whether such an addition to the Handbook could be made. Based on that information, council may re-visit the issue in a future meeting.
The meeting proper kicked off with a tribute to Judge Bluth. With the City’s court closing, and cases being moved to the County, Bluth will be moving on as well. The tribute included brief speeches from Mayor Ron Holthusen and several city and court workers and volunteers. The words which best summarized Bluth’s years in office were that he was always “Composed, consistent and just.” If you’re looking for a summer read, Bluth’s book “Municipal Court, the Other Side of the Bench” is available on Amazon.
After a brief cake break, it was time to fill some commission and committee positions. The majority of the time focused on interviewing and appointing two new planning commissioners, Richard McGregor and Joyce Todd. Next several applicants for the newly formed Sign Ordinance Committee were interviewed and seven members appointed. The seven represent the Planning Commission, residents and business owners in balanced numbers.