BEND, OR -- Deschutes County officials are considering how to implement a new state law allowing RVs to be used as housing on rural private property. SB 1013 was approved in the 2023 legislature and takes effect January first. "It’s a way to provide some additional housing in rural areas of the county," County Senior Planner Tanya Saltzman told County Commissioners this week.
She says the legislature laid out a number of restrictions, "The property can’t be in an urban reserve. There has to already be a single-family dwelling on the property as the primary residence. There can’t be any other dwelling units on the property. This is a big one: the RV cannot be utilized as a short-term rental. So, that’s very similar to the ADUs; it’s not intended to be AirBnB/VRBO type of things." The motorhome or trailer must also be drivable and titled, and either leased or owned by the tenant. And, the state requires the homeowner provide what are considered essential services, "Essentially, it’s sewage disposal, water supply and electrical supply; so, basically an RV hook-up and some modification of that. We have our Building Division looking into what exactly that means, but the big point of that is there needs to be somewhere to deposit the waste."
But, Saltzman says, there are still unanswered questions. "Most of these RVs, especially older ones, are not necessarily designed to handle significant snow-loads. So, should we require a ramada or a shelter-type thing that’s put over this RV? And if so, what might those standards be?" And, while the new state law mandates the rent charged by the property owner be "reasonable," Commissioners asked whether there was an option for rent to be free.
County staff is now working on a draft code to align the RV rental rules with the recently developed code for rural ADUs. The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing November ninth before County Commissioners make a final decision on an ordinance.