Amending Emergency Declaration for COVID-19 Response Ordering Stay At Home
April 6, 2020
Whereas, on March 17, 2020, Chelan County adopted and enacted Resolution 2020-32 declaring an emergency in order to respond to the COVID-19 virus pandemic emergency, and
Whereas, Resolution 2020-32 listed findings and conclusions supporting the emergency declaration and the county’s response thereto, including reliance on Governor Inslee’s COVID-19 proclamations and the activation of the county’s Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan, and
Whereas, since Resolution 2020-32 was adopted and enacted, Governor Inslee has issued further proclamations related to the COVID-19 emergency including Proclamation 20-25 which directs Washingtonians to stay at home, and
Whereas, Governor lnslee has extended the Stay Home, Stay Health Proclamation to May 4, 2020, in Proclamation 20-25.1, and
Whereas, the number of infected persons and/or fatalities caused by COVID-19 continues to increase statewide and in Chelan County, and
Whereas, Chelan County shares a common border with multiple counties including this state’s most populated county, King County, and
Whereas, more than one state highway directly connects Chelan and King Counties, and
Whereas, since the COVID -19 emergency was declared by Governor Inslee on February 29, 2020, there has been an influx of people coming to Chelan County from higher populated urban centers and counties who have expressed the belief that they expect better access to medical and other public facilities, groceries, and services by relocating to Chelan County during the emergency period, and
Whereas, this assumption is inaccurate as Chelan County has less hospital beds available per capita than is needed and other public facilities are short in supply on a per capita basis, and
Whereas, Confluence Health already has regional and not merely countywide responsibilities, further stressing the availability of services to the population it serves, and
Whereas, people coming to Chelan County in recreational or other vehicles to avoid COVID-19 emergency directives and recommendations in other communities are negatively impacting the public health, safety, and welfare in Chelan County and are also disregarding and disobeying Governor Inslee’s Proclamations 20-25 and 20-25.1 by not staying home, and
Whereas, living in recreational and other vehicles creates traffic and sanitation hazards, and also creates trespass and other public safety problems, all which stress law enforcement and first responder resources which are already stressed by the COVID-19 emergency, and
Whereas, an influx of people using Inns, Lodges, Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, Motels, Campgrounds, Conference Centers, Short Term or Vacation Rentals including but not necessarily limited to Air B&B and VRBO, further stresses beyond capacity the availability of basic public health, safety, and welfare services and facilities in Chelan County and further constitutes disregard for and disobedience of Governor Inslee’s Stay at Home Proclamation 20-25 and now Proclamation 25.1, and
Whereas, Proclamation 20-25 lists hotel and motel staff as essential workers exempt from the proclamation’s order to stay home, and
Whereas, the use of a Short Term Rental/Vacation Rental including but not necessarily limited to Air B&B and VRBO for 30 days or less is not a use akin to hotel or motel use or occupancy, and
Whereas, Hotels, Motels, Inns, and Lodges enforce room and facility occupancy limits and have on-site management at all times, and are not typically located in residential zones, and
Whereas, Chapter 38.52 RCW and the county’s Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan authorizes the county to direct relocation of residents and/or evacuation of people, sheltering, sheltering-in-place, facility lockdown, where to obtain food and water, and other emergency response information, and
Whereas, Chelan County and the Chelan Douglas Health District have twice recently contacted the owners and operators of Short Term /Vacation Rentals including but not necessarily limited to Air B&B and VRBO in this county and requested their cooperation in not renting to people from outside Chelan or Douglas Counties during the emergency, and
Whereas, this request was intended to assist the first responders and medical personnel from within Chelan and Douglas Counties who need alternative residential accommodations due to their risk of exposure to COVID-19 through their daily work creating their need to reduce the risk of exposure to their own families, and
Whereas, Chelan County is aware of multiple instances where Short Term/Vacation Rentals including but not necessarily limited to Air B&B and VRBO have disregarded Chelan County and the ChelanDouglas Health District’s request for cooperation and they continue to rent to people who do not need alternative residential accommodations to assist them in performance of their essential worker duties during this emergency, and
Whereas, the websites of various Short Term Nacation Rentals including but not necessarily limited to Air B&B and VRBO demonstrate lack of compliance with Proclamations 20-25 and 20-25. 1 as well as Chelan County and the Chelan-Douglas Health District’s requests, and
Whereas, the current conduct of the owners and operators of Short Term /Vacation Rentals including but not necessarily limited to Air B&B and VRBO disregards and disobeys Governor Inslee’s Stay Home Proclamations 20-25 and 20-25. 1 and places the public health, welfare, and safety, of the citizens and residents of Chelan County at great risk.
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED that the Chelan County Board of Commissioners hereby orders as follows:
- The foregoing recitals are incorporated herein as findings, conclusions, and orders.
- Previously enacted Resolution 2020-32 and the Governor’s Proclamations, including but not limited to 20-25 and 20-25.1, enacting the Stay Home, Stay Healthy declaration through May 4, 2020, are incorporated herein.
- There continues to be an emergency which necessitates the continued activation of the Chelan County Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan, activation of the Chelan County Emergency Operations Center, and utilization of emergency powers granted by statute.
- The use of any vehicle, recreational or otherwise, for camping, sleeping, or occupancy while not traveling in Chelan County is prohibited, unless said use occurs on owner’s property and is limited to owner and owner’s family.
- All public and private campgrounds in Chelan County are closed and all camping on private or public property is prohibited and no rental of camping sites or spaces for any length of time is permitted regardless of whether the customer is using a tent, temporary shelter, structure, trailer, or vehicle of any type, subject to the provisions of subsections 7 and 8 herein.
- All Short Term/Vacation Rentals including but not necessarily limited to Air B&B and VRBO shall cease renting accommodations and shall close; no use or occupancy is allowed regardless of whether it is compensated or not, subject to the provisions of subsections 7 and 8 herein.
- This order applies to all such uses, rentals, and/or occupancies regardless of whether or not:
- Conditional Use Permit has been granted
- a building or structure constitutes a single family residence
- a single unit, portion, subsection, or entire building or structure is rented
- management is present or nearby
- cooking or food preparation equipment or capabilities exist
- the length of the lease is more or less than 30 days
- Owners and operators of Short Term/Vacation Rental including but not necessarily limited to Air B&B and VRBO or campground and camping facilities in Chelan County shall assist in the implementation of Governor Inslee’s Proclamations 20-25 and 20-25. l by providing such accommodations or facilities only to persons for whom such accommodations or facilities are required (1) to conduct or participate in essential activities, (2) for employment in essential business services, or (3) as otherwise provided by Proclamation 20-25. Nothing in this order requires the removal of persons who are already staying in transient accommodations or campground and camping facilities at the time this order is made.
- Nothing herein is intended to be inconsistent with Governor Inslee’s Proclamations 20-25 or 25.1.
- Violation of this order shall constitute an infraction punishable by a fine of $500.00 per day imposed upon the owner, operator, or manager of a Short Term/Vacation Rental including but not necessarily limited to Air B&B and VRBO, and any campground or camping facility to be cited, imposed, and assessed by the Sheriff.
- This order shall remain in effect until midnight on May 4, 2020, unless extended beyond that date by the Board of County Commissioners.
- This resolution requiring compliance with Proclamations 20-25 and 25.1, Stay Home, during the COVID-19 Emergency shall become effective immediately.
- The state of emergency declaration enacted in Resolution 2020-32 is hereby extended until midnight on May 4, 2020, unless extended beyond that date by the Board of County Commissioners.
Dated at Wenatchee, Washington, this 6th day of April, 2020.
Chelan County Resolution 2020-38 PDF