I'm writing in regard to the upcoming August 2 Brookings City Council Workshop about Accessory Dwelling Units and the System Development Fees assessed by the city upon such housing units. The city should be commended for allowing such units within the city under its' Land Use Ordinance. While such units don't make a significant impact in terms of increasing the total supply of affordable workforce housing units within the city, they are certainly a step in the right direction.
Unfortunately, the city's fee imposed upon the individual homeowner developers of these units is inordinately high, thus serving as a disincentive for their actual construction. Chances are that many of these units will be marketed as short-term vacation rentals, another often-undesirable use that further reduces the supply of affordable workforce rental housing. The city generates significant revenue through Conditional Use Permit fees for VRBOs while providing little or no regulatory oversight. Consequently, the ordinance while well-intended with regard to ADUs and VRBOs, isn't achieving its' presumed goal of increasing the supply of affordable housing, particularly for residents of low-to-moderate income who comprise the bulk of our increasingly tourism/leisure-oriented local economy.
These are the people who clean our houses, cook and serve our food, bag and deliver our groceries, mow our lawns, etc. Where are they supposed to live in Brookings' unequal housing market where home prices are skyrocketing and rental apartments at any price are in very short supply? Our jobs, housing balance and housing affordability are seriously out of whack. Where are our high school graduates supposed to go? Who's going to fill our low-paying tourism/leisure industry jobs? How desirable are we going to be for retirees if our employment base collapses? What's going to happen to our real estate values?
Please let the City Council know how you feel.