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        Oregon City Council on Monday voted 4-3 in favor of a Special Use Permit for property located at 5024 Seaman Road for the purpose of operating a Bed and Breakfast.

        A public hearing was held on Sept. 19 by the Oregon Planning Commission, which voted 5-0 to recommend the Special Use in an R-1 Low Density Residential District for the operation of the Bed and Breakfast. A public hearing was held before council on Oct. 23 and was continued to Nov. 27 for further discussion out of some concern the property was not well maintained.

        Applicant Derrick Jaegle requested the Special Use Permit because the proposed Bed and Breakfast was in an R-1 residential zone, which does not permit it. A Bed and Breakfast is allowed in an R-3 multi-family zone.

        Ruth Price, of Seaman Rd., expressed opposition to the Special Use at the public hearing in October, saying the property was “not really maintained like a Bed and Breakfast.”

        Councilman James Seaman had agreed that the property was “not well maintained.”

        “It’s different from what is in that neighborhood,” he said. “I’m concerned.”

        Jaegle was not at that hearing to address their concerns.

        At the extended public hearing on Monday, James Gilmore, commissioner of building and zoning, said the continuation of the public hearing was to develop stipulations for the Special Use Permit.

        “It was continued to today,” said Gilmore. “The reason was to maybe put some stipulations or provisions on this particular Special Use.”

        Mayor Mike Seferian, who sits on the Planning Commission, said the main reason the hearing was continued was because Jaegle was not at the hearing in October to answer questions about the Bed and Breakfast.

        “I believe the main reason city council had extended the public hearing was because the applicant, who was not here, is now here to answer questions,” he said.

        Jaegle said to council that he is a disabled war veteran, and his son is battling pancreatitis.

       

Improvements

        “However, in spite of that, we do have great plans for the property,” said Jaegle.

        He plans to make improvements to his property, he said.

        “We’re going to redo the driveway. We’re going to do concrete all the way to the street eventually, and put a pond scape in the front yard. There’s going to be a lot of other things going on as well,” said Jaegle.

        Other improvements include new garage doors, new windows, a high efficiency water heater and furnace, new doors, alarms and fire extinguishers.

        “I’m doing everything above and beyond code as well as beautification. I plan on putting some bird feeders and some other things on the property as well to brighten it. My son has been in the hospital for six months in the last year, so funds have been a little low. We hope to generate some funds and beautify the property further,” said Jaegle.

        He said he and his son take care of the yard.

        There were some issues with large ruts on the property that were too big for the lawn mower to handle, he added. “But we’re working through these obstacles.”

        Jaegle said there will be two bedrooms available for rent, with up to two people per room.

        “Although we are under the term of bed and breakfast, I’m strictly offering a room for rent at the moment to avoid any other obstacles as far as food temperatures and different things of that nature. My intention is not to have just random people to stay. We have security alarms and cameras, as well as everyone who is on my property is background checked. People who generally stay are not bringing in defunct vehicles and all types of other issues that may cause a problem. My driveway is rather large where we can place the vehicles in the back, and have no intention on having anything on the front or the side of the home that would be an eyesore.”

        Councilman Terry Reeves asked Jaegle for clarification on how many rooms he is offering for rent.

        “You’re going to rent out one room? Is that what you’re currently doing?” he asked Jaegle.

        “Yes, I’m going to have a room for rent either for a night, a week or a month. I’m not going to be doing the breakfast side of things. I don’t want to open up the opportunity to be sued or whatever else,” he said.

        Jaegle said he’s been using his property as an Airbnb, which is an online marketplace that connects people looking to rent their homes with people who are looking for accommodations.

        “I’ve been doing that for two months, but I didn’t realize the way this all works. I’m only learning as I go,” he said.

        “How many people have you had stay there in total for any length of time?” asked Councilman Tim Zale. “How busy have you been?”

        “I have a guy who has been with me for three weeks, and another guy who just left in the last three weeks. It’s been pretty successful. I’ve had multiple people stay,” he said.

        Each room has a refrigerator, a microwave, and a queen sized bed with a TV set, he said.

       

No breakfast

        Reeves asked whether he will be serving breakfast at the Bed and Breakfast.

        “My parents have a million dollar home in Georgia. They rent out the entire basement of their home, which is in the mountains. They informed me that I don’t want to get into the food aspect of things being it’s a smaller entity. So it’s just better to avoid it for different reasons. That’s what their lawyers are saying. So I’m just avoiding the food. For example, I don’t offer coffee, I don’t offer any breakfast. There’s a coffee pot in each room for them and paper towels so they’re self-sufficient,” said Jaegle.

        “If we’re not providing the breakfast,” said Reeves, “I don’t think it’s living up to the Special Use we’re being asked to pass or deny.”

        Seferian said the zoning code does not require meals be served in a Bed and Breakfast.

        “You have the ability to serve breakfast, but you’re not required to,” said Seferian.

        Gilmore agreed.

        “The definition of a Bed and Breakfast is simply this: An owner occupied dwelling that provides rooms for compensation. It has nothing to do with whether you serve food or don’t. It doesn’t matter if you use Airbnb or you rent a simple room, it’s still considered a Bed and Breakfast,” said Gilmore.

        Jaegle said he’s had renters that are registered nurses, a diplomat from Saudi Arabia, and a power plant employee from Davis-Besse. “I know there may have been some concerns about different clientele types. However, I’m pretty strict about my rules and procedures. I try to invite people who are on the go, and are presentable, respectable people.”

        The Planning Commission did not provide any stipulations on the property when it recommended that council approve Jaegle’s request, said Gilmore.

        “You’re allowed to put stipulations on a Special Use Permit to safeguard the community,” said Gilmore.

        City council would have to have at least six votes to change the recommendation by the planning commission.

       

Evolving

        Councilwoman Sandy Bihn asked if someone who rented a room in their home through Airbnb would need a permit.

        “This is a contentious issue. I’m not aware whether many of those people have Special Use Permits. From what I’ve read, this is kind of in a state of flux. Part of me questions whether [Jaegle] needs to be here. I think this is a good discussion, but if other people in our community are doing this, are we going to police it?”

        City Administrator Mike Beazley said it was “an evolving, changing practice,” to rent rooms in a home.

        “Any Oregon homeowner has the right to lease their space by the night, the month or year to someone else under current law,” explained Beazley. “But once I stay there and host them, it falls under the definition of our code – that it becomes the equivalent of a Bed and Breakfast.”

        Council granted the Special Use with the stipulation that it is reviewed one year later with an option to renew to “make sure the property is being kept up, and it doesn’t have any impact on the neighbors,” according to Reeves, who asked that the condition be included in the ordinance.

        “It could be renewed for a year, or made permanent,” said Seferian. “Whatever council chooses to do.”

        Seferian said if Jaegle decided to stop operating as a Bed and Breakfast, the Special Use would no longer exist on the property after two years.

        Council members who voted in favor of the Special Use are Kathleen Pollauf, Tim Zale, Reeves and Bihn. Those who voted against are Council President Dennis Walendzak,  Steve Hornyak, and James Seaman.

         

 

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