Let's not mince words. Last night was reallybad for STRs in Chelan County. The Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) effectively moved to kill most of our STRs. Essentially, all STRs on less than 5 acres would beeliminated immediatelyunless they are currently owner-occupied ("Tier 1") or in a RRR (Rural Recreational) zone.
Specifically, the District Use chart the County they settled on last night would effectively kill all STRs in RW (Rural Waterfront) and RV (Rural Village) zones WITHOUT grandfathering-in any existing STR's or offering any sort of "sunset" period. This means that you could be out of business by the end of the year. Seriously. STR owners in RR2.5 may get a 3-year "grace period," but only if you somehow own 5 acres on an RR2.5 zoned lot. (If you don't know what your zoning is, check this map. Enter your address in the box and select "layers" on the left.
Sadly, it is unclear whether the Commissioners understand the economic impact of the drastic measures they're proposing. Do they appreciate the hundreds of thousands of dollars in lodging taxes we've each paid, the million$$ in local revenue our guests have generated, and the hundreds of affiliate jobs our businesses have created over the years?
RW's In particular have a long established history as vacation rentals over the past 30 years. It's no surprise that tourists have been naturally drawn to our shoreline properties. Indeed, the definition of RW's in the county code includes recreational and tourist uses. We therefore believe the County should grandfather in all RW's and allow existing nuisance ordinances to take force before taking the drastic step of killing such a huge part of our tourism industry. Let's finally enforce our nuisance ordinances before punishing everyone for the bad behavior few bad actors.
Now is the Time to Speak Up!
If you are impacted by these measures, we need you to speak up NOW! The Commissioners are accepting written public comment at CD.STRComment@co.chelan.wa.us. Write them a letter NOW and let them know specifically how these ordinances would personally impact your and your family's livelihood! The next workshop is scheduled for next Tuesday Nov 24th 10:30am, and the public hearing is scheduled for Tues Dec 8th r
Please DONATE Now!
If the County insists on killing STRs before even trying to enforce existing nuisance codes and grandfathering in existing STRs, they will inevitably face a large number of lawsuits and civil claims of 'property takings, both from STRACC and individual property owners. So we urge you to DONATE NOW TO OUR LEGAL DEFENSE FUND NOW so we can try to protect your STR property rights from this government takeover.
The voters of Chelan County have spoken clearly. We voted for Tiffany Gering, an avowed STR supporter, as the new County Commissioner for District 3. She should have a say before the current BoCC rushes to push this on this ordinance through before the end of the year.