WENATCHEE — The Chelan County Commission has finished creating its short-term rental task force.
The commission met Monday and Tuesday to decide on the final makeup of the task force. Community Development Director Jim Brown says the task force will finish work April 23 and a draft of a proposed code could go to commissioners by May 7.
Nash Consulting from Leavenworth will be facilitating the task force discussions.
The members representing neighborhood interests are:
- Kirvil Skinnerland: President of Residents United for Neighbors (RUN), Leavenworth
- John Agnew: Nominated by RUN, Leavenworth
- Ken Longley: Retired mediator and arbitrator in King and Snohomish counties’ superior courts, Lake Wenatchee
The members representing short-term rentals are:
- Sean Lynn: Manager of Love Leavenworth Vacation Rentals, lives in Leavenworth
- Don MacKenzie: Nominated by the Short-Term Rental Alliance of Chelan County (STRACC), owns a cabin on Fish Lake, created the Homesharing Operators of Chelan County Facebook group
- David Donovick: Nominated by STRACC, owns short-term rentals across three states
The two alternatives in case anyone is unable to serve are:
- Zelda Holgate: Short-term rental property manager near Plain
- Jerry Jennings: Lake Wenatchee resident and RUN member
The members of the task force were drawn from letters and comments the county commissioners received, Chelan County Commissioner Bob Bugert said during a public meeting. The commissioners also received recommendations from both STRACC and RUN, as well as some people who self nominated.
Many of the people on the task force, including Lynn and Skinnerland, have been asking the commissioners to set up a dialogue with their respective groups for over a year now.
Brown said Monday during a public meeting that the task force will be focused on:
- Where should short-term rentals be allowed and how should the issue of rentals in residential zones be resolved?
- In those zones that allow short-term rentals, what are the limitations?
- Should existing short-term rentals be allowed to stay?
- How should short-term rental permits be transferred if at all?
- What kind of cap should exist per zip code for the number of short-term rentals?
- How many people should be allowed to stay overnight in short-term rentals?
One of the remaining issues was how many members of the Chelan County Planning Commission would participate and which members. The planning commission members will not be able to vote on the task force, but can provide insight. The commission decided on:
- Randy Baldwin (past planning commission member)
- Ed Martinez
- Carl Blum
Chelan County Commissioner Tiffany Gering raised concerns that some of the planning commission members might have biases toward the regulations. It was originally supposed to be two members, but on Tuesday Brown said he could not participate in the task force discussions, Gering said.
So Gering nominated Chelan County Planning Commissioner Carl Blum to sit on the task force. Gering raised concerns in the past that Blum would favor heavier handed regulations on short-term rentals.
Gering said she chose Blum, so that the Manson area would be represented and because of his experience working with the short-term rental draft codes in the past.