ILWACO, Wash. — A couple has filed a lawsuit against Ilwaco after being denied a vacation rental permit.
In March, Lindsay and Shelley Yamane applied for a conditional use permit for a house on Reservoir Road, which is near their home on the same block in the city’s Sahalee subdivision above Baker Bay. The City Council unanimously rejected the application in May.
The council denied the application because it found the Yamanes did not prove the vacation rental wouldn’t cause problems for neighbors.
City Planner Sam Rubin and the Planning Commission had recommended approval of the permit.
The lawsuit alleges the city did not adhere to city code and that the council violated the couple’s right to due process.
The proposed vacation rental prompted a range of reactions from neighbors and others in the community. Some were vocally opposed, while others signed statements of support for the permit.
Among other things, opponents worried that the vacation rental might cause a shortage of parking spaces, or lead to a slew of new rentals in the area.
Among those opposing the permit are residents of Ilwaco’s Discovery Heights gated subdivision, which borders Sahalee to the south. Discovery Heights was developed by a partnership that includes Marshall’s brother, Rich. Owners of individual homes in Discovery Heights have expressed concern about vacationers wandering through the subdivision to access the nearby Beards Hollow portion of Cape Disappointment State Park.
The lawsuit states that some of the individuals who spoke against the vacation rental live outside the immediate vicinity. It also notes that only the Yamanes and their neighbor can park on their property, so no one else would be affected by guests parking there.
The couple and the city are in the process of determining whether the lawsuit should proceed in Pacific County Superior Court, or the federal court in Tacoma.