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Deschutes County bars rural short-term rental stays through mid-May

Deschutes County seal
Deschutes County

Commissioners say residents sought order due to recent visitor behavior

(Update: County issues clarification on timeshares)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- To reduce exposure to and spread of COVID-19, Deschutes County commissioners approved an order Wednesday prohibiting short-term rental stays in the rural, unincorporated areas of the county. It does not apply to short term rentals in Bend, La Pine, Redmond and Sisters.

The order, which goes into effect immediately, will prohibit stays of less than 30 days in vacation rentals, short-term rentals, inns and bed and breakfasts. It will remain in effect until May 15.

“We’re doing everything we can to protect the health and safety of Deschutes County residents,” said Commissioner Patti Adair. “It is our hope that taking this step now will limit non-essential travel to our region and help to reduce the spread of COVID-19.”

The county clarified Thursday that the order doesn’t prevent an owner from using their own timeshare, but it would restrict them from renting their timeshare to another party. The board is expected to discuss the issue in greater detail during their meeting next Monday.

During their meeting, commissioners said they’ve received multiple requests from local residents to issue the order based on behavior they’ve seen the past two weeks. Many of the requests came from permanent residents who live in resort communities.

“By taking this step, we hope our region will be better positioned to recover quickly after the pandemic ends,” said Commissioner Phil Henderson. “Central Oregon is a fantastic place to visit, but for now, some trips must wait. We need to take steps now to ensure that we’re doing everything we can to control and contain the spread of this virus.”

The order does not prohibit reservations needed for permitted essential travel, including reservations needed for health, safety or employment.

The county said property owners and managers of properties affected by the restrictions should take reasonable steps to terminate current occupancy of any guests not exempted by the provisions in the order. No new occupancies in violation of this order may be rented as of 8 a.m. on Thursday, April 2.

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Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus

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