We, the people of the city of Lincoln City, Lincoln County, Oregon, in order to avail ourselves of self-determination in municipal affairs to the fullest extent now or hereafter granted or allowed by the constitutions and laws of the United States and the State of Oregon, by this charter confer upon the city the following powers, subject it to the following restrictions, prescribe for it the following procedures and governmental structure, and repeal all charter provisions of the city enacted prior to the time this charter takes effect.

Be it enacted by the people of Lincoln City, Lincoln County, Oregon:

Chapter I

1.1 Title of Enactment

This enactment may be referred to as the Lincoln City Charter of 1989.

1.2 Name of City

The municipality of Lincoln City, Lincoln County, Oregon, shall continue to be a municipal corporation with the name “Lincoln City.”

1.3 Boundaries

The city shall include all territory encompassed by its boundaries as of January 1, 1989, or as they are hereafter modified pursuant to law. The custodian of the city’s records shall keep an accurate, up-to-date description of the boundaries. The copies and descriptions shall be available for public inspection during regular office hours.

Chapter II

2.1 Powers of the City

The city has all powers which the constitutions, statutes and common law of the United States and of this state expressly or impliedly grant or allow municipalities as fully as though this charter specifically enumerated each of those powers.

2.2 Construction of Charter

In this charter no mention of a particular power shall be construed to be exclusive or to restrict the scope of the powers which the city would have if the particular power were not mentioned. The charter shall be liberally construed to the end that the city may have all powers necessary or convenient for the conduct of its municipal affairs, including all powers that cities may assume pursuant to state laws and to the municipal home rule provisions of the state Constitution.

2.3 Distribution of Powers

Except as this Charter prescribes otherwise and as the Oregon Constitution reserves municipal legislative power to the voters of the city, all powers of the city are vested in the council.

Chapter III

3.1 Form of Government

The city of Lincoln City operates under the Council-Manager form of government.

3.2 Council

The council consists of a Mayor, nominated and elected at large, and six councilors, nominated and elected by wards with boundaries fixed by ordinance.

3.3 Councilors

Councilors in office at the time this Charter is adopted and those elected at the 1988 biennial general election shall continue in office until the end of the terms for which they were elected. At each general election after the adoption of this Charter, three councilors shall be elected, one from each ward, each for a four-year term.

3.4 Mayor

The term of office of the mayor in office when this Charter is adopted, is the term of office for which the mayor was elected before the adoption of the Charter. At the general election of the year 1990, and every four years thereafter, a mayor shall be elected for a term of four years.

3.5 Council Wards

For the purpose of electing members to the city council, the city shall be divided into three wards of approximately equal population. The boundaries of the wards in existence at the time this Charter is adopted shall remain in effect until such time as the wards are redefined by Council. The council shall, by ordinance, redefine the boundaries of the wards as necessary to accord persons in the city equal protection of the laws. When the boundaries of the wards are redefined, each ward shall have one continuous boundary. Within three months after available data from a decennial census of the United States Census Bureau or any other official census commissioned by the city indicates that the boundaries deny equal protection of the laws, the council shall re-specify the boundaries so as to accord equal protection of the laws.

3.6 Appointive Officers.

(1)    The city manager, municipal judge, and city attorney are appointive officers of the city who shall be appointed by the affirmative vote of four or more members of the council for an indefinite term, to hold office at the pleasure of the council and who may be removed at any time by the affirmative vote of four or more members of the council.

(2)    The council may combine any two or more appointive offices, except the offices of the city manager and the municipal judge, or city attorney and municipal judge. In no instance shall the municipal judge in the exercise of judicial functions or the city attorney be subject to supervision by any other officers.

3.7 Compensation

The council may prescribe the compensation for city officers and employees. No councilor or mayor, however, may receive compensation for serving in that capacity. The council may prescribe the plan for reimbursing city officers or personnel for expenses that they incur in serving the city.

3.8 Qualifications of Officers.

(1)    To be eligible for an elective city office, a person must be a qualified elector within the meaning of the state Constitution and have resided in the city during the six months immediately preceding the last day available for filing for election. For purposes of this subsection, city means all area included in the corporate limits as of the date of the election.

(2)    To serve as a councilor elected from a ward, the candidate must have resided within the ward he or she seeks to represent for six months immediately preceding the last day available for filing for election or appointment and must continue to reside in the ward throughout his or her term of office.

(3)    Removal of an officer’s principal residency from the city or from the area he or she represents shall create a vacancy in the office for which elected, to be filled in the manner other vacancies in that office are filled.

(4)    No city employee or appointive officer may serve on the council.

(5)    Except as otherwise provided in this Charter, the council is the final judge of the qualifications and election of its own members.

Chapter IV

4.1 Meetings

The council shall hold regular meetings at least once a month in the city at a time and place that it designates. Meetings of the council, other than regular meetings, may be held in accordance with procedures prescribed by state law and general ordinance. The council shall by ordinance prescribe rules to govern its members and proceedings.

4.2 Quorum

A majority of the incumbent members of the council shall constitute a quorum for its business, but a smaller number may meet and compel the attendance of absent members in the manner provided by ordinance.

4.3 Record of Proceedings

The council shall cause a record of its proceedings to be kept in a manner consistent with state law.

4.4 Meetings to Be Public

All deliberations and proceedings of the council shall be public except as otherwise authorized by state law.

4.5 Mayor’s Functions at Council Meetings.

(1)    The mayor shall preside over council deliberations and shall have a vote on all questions before the council. The mayor shall preserve order, enforce the rules of the council, and determine the order of business under the rules of council.

(2)    Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, the mayor may temporarily cease to chair a council meeting and delegate the functions described in subsection (1) to the council president or to another council member if the council president is absent, or unable to function as mayor.

4.6 Council President

At its first meeting of each odd-numbered year, the council shall elect a president from its membership. In the mayor’s absence from a council meeting, the president shall preside over it. Whenever the mayor is unable to perform the functions of his office, the president shall act as mayor.

4.7 Vote Required

Except as this Charter otherwise provides, the express concurrence of a majority of the members of the council voting when a quorum of the council is present at the council meeting, shall be necessary to decide any question before the council.

4.8 Interference in Administration

A member of the council shall not coerce or attempt to coerce the manager or any other city employee in carrying out the duties of the office; or coerce or attempt to coerce the manager or any other city employee in making an appointment or in removal of an officer or employee or in purchasing equipment, services or supplies; or attempt to exact a promise relative to an appointment from any candidate for manager. The council may, however, in open session, discuss with or suggest to the manager anything pertinent to city affairs or the interests of the city. A violation of this subsection may occasion the censure or removal from office of the offending member of the council, by the council or a court of competent jurisdiction.


5.1 Mayor

The Mayor shall be deemed a member of the council and shall have the same rights as other council members. The Mayor shall appoint members of committees established by council rules, and where not otherwise specified in council rules or other city ordinances, such other committees as the mayor deems appropriate. The Mayor shall represent the city at ceremonial functions, unless the Mayor or Council directs otherwise. The Mayor shall sign all records of proceedings approved by the council and shall sign all ordinances passed by the council after their passage. The Mayor shall have no veto power. After the council approves a bond of a city officer or a bond for a license, contract or proposal, the Mayor shall endorse the bond.

5.2 City Manager.

(1)    The city manager is the administrative head of the city government.

(2)    The manager shall be appointed, solely on the basis of administrative qualifications, by an affirmative vote of four or more members of the council.

(3)    The manager need not reside in the city or the state when appointed.

(4)    The manager shall be appointed for an indefinite term and may be removed by the council at its pleasure in accordance with Section 3.6 of this Charter.

(5)    Within six consecutive months after a vacancy occurs in the office of city manager, the council shall fill the vacancy by appointment.

(6)    The manager shall:

(a)    Attend all council meetings unless excused by the council or mayor;

(b)    Keep the council advised of the affairs and needs of the city;

(c)    See that the provisions of all ordinances are administered to the satisfaction of the council;

(d)    See that all terms of franchises, leases, contracts, permits, and privileges granted by the city are fulfilled;

(e)    Appoint, discipline and remove appointive personnel, except appointees of the mayor or council;

(f)    Supervise and control the manager’s appointees in their service to the city;

(g)    Organize and reorganize the departmental structure of city government;

(h)    Prepare and transmit to the council an annual city budget;

(i)    Supervise city contracts;

(j)    Supervise operation of all city-owned public utilities and property;

(k)    Supervise all purchasing; and

(l)    Perform other duties as the council prescribes consistently with this charter.

(7)    The manager shall not control:

(a)    The council;

(b)    The municipal judge in the judge’s judicial functions, or the city attorney;

(c)    Except as the council authorizes, appointive personnel of the city whom the manager does not appoint.

(8)    The manager and other personnel whom the council designates may sit with the council but may not vote on questions before it. The manager may take part in all council discussions.

(9)    When the manager is absent from the city or disabled from acting as manager, or when the office of manager becomes vacant, the council may appoint a manager pro tem, who has the powers and duties of manager, except that the manager pro tem may appoint or remove personnel only with approval of the council. No person may be manager pro tem for more than six consecutive months.

5.3 City Recorder

The city recorder, or designee, shall serve ex-officio as clerk of the council, attend all its meetings unless excused therefrom, and keep an accurate record of its proceedings.


6.1 Municipal Court.

(1)    The judicial power of the city of Lincoln City shall continue to be vested in the Municipal Court for the city of Lincoln City, Lincoln County, Oregon.

(2)    Except as this charter or city ordinance prescribes to the contrary, proceedings of the court shall conform to general laws of this state governing justices of the peace and justice courts.

(3)    All area within the city and, to the extent provided by state law, area outside the city is within the territorial jurisdiction of the court.

(4)    The municipal court has original jurisdiction over every offense that an ordinance of the city makes punishable. The court may enforce forfeitures and other penalties that such ordinances prescribe.

(5)    The municipal court has concurrent jurisdiction over state traffic or misdemeanor offenses when permitted by state law.

6.2 Municipal Judge.

(1)    The council shall appoint a municipal judge to serve for an indefinite term and to hold office at the pleasure of the council. The municipal judge shall be the judicial officer of the city and shall hold within the city, at a place and times that the court specifies, a court known as the Municipal Court for the city of Lincoln City, Lincoln County, Oregon.

(2)    The municipal judge may:

(a)    Render judgments and, for enforcing them, impose sanctions on persons and property within the court’s territorial jurisdiction;

(b)    Order the arrest of anyone accused of an offense against the city;

(c)    Commit to jail or admit to bail anyone accused of such an offense;

(d)    Issue and compel obedience to subpoenas;

(e)    Compel witnesses to appear and testify and jurors to serve in the trial of matters before the court;

(f)    Penalize contempt of court;

(g)    Issue process necessary to effectuate judgments and orders of the court;

(h)    Issue search warrants or inspection warrants; and

(i)    Perform other judicial and quasi-judicial functions prescribed by ordinance.

(3)    The council may authorize the municipal judge to appoint municipal judges pro tem for terms of office set by the judge or the council.

Chapter VII

7.1 City Elections.

Regular city elections shall be held on the same dates as the general biennial elections for the State of Oregon, in accordance with applicable state election laws. Special elections may be held in accordance with state law. (Amendment approved by the voters May 15, 2007, effective June 11, 2007)

7.2 Regulation of Elections.

Except as this Charter provides otherwise, and as the council provides otherwise by ordinances relating to elections, the general laws of the state shall apply to all city elections.

7.3 Canvass of Returns.

In all elections held in conjunction with state and county elections, the state laws governing the filing of returns by the county clerk shall apply. The results of all elections shall be made a matter of record of the proceedings of the council at the next regular council meeting following the election. The record shall contain a statement of the total number of votes cast for each person and for and against each proposition, the name of each person elected to office, the office to which the person has been elected, and a reference to each measure enacted or approved.

7.4 Tie Votes.

In the event of a tie vote for candidates for an elective office, the successful candidate shall be determined by a public drawing of lots in a manner prescribed by the council.

7.5 Commencement of Terms of Office.

The term of office of a person elected to a city office at a regular city election commences at the first council meeting of the new calendar year immediately following the election. (Amendment approved by the voters May 15, 2007, effective June 11, 2007)

7.6 Oath of Office.

Before commencing the duties of office, each elective officer shall take an oath or shall affirm faithful performance of the duties of the office and support for the constitutions and laws of the United States and the State of Oregon.

7.7 Nominations.

Any candidate for an elective office may be nominated by filing with the recorder a petition in such form as may be prescribed by ordinance, signed by 25 legal voters of the city. The signers of a petition for councilor from a particular ward shall be legal voters residing within that ward; but if the petition is for mayor, said petition may be signed by legal voters residing in any ward in the city. Subject to the requirements of this section, a legal voter may sign more than one nominating petition for the same office. No candidate for office may file for more than one elective city position.

7.8 Elections of Candidates for City Office.

A non-partisan election of candidates for city office shall be held in each even numbered year on the date of the general biennial election for the State of Oregon, or as hereafter provided by the constitution or general laws of Oregon regulating elections, and on the day and month fixed for such elections. The candidate who receives the highest number of the votes cast at the election for the office is elected to that office. (Amendment approved by the voters May 15, 2007, effective June 11, 2007)

7.9 Write-in Votes.

The ability of the voters of the city to elect a candidate by write-in vote shall be provided on all ballots. (Amendment approved by the voters May 15, 2007, effective June 11, 2007)


8.1 What Creates Vacancy.

(1)    An office becomes vacant upon the incumbent’s:

(a)    Death;

(b)    Adjudicated incompetence;

(c)    Conviction of a crime involving official misconduct or misuse of confidential information;

(d)    Conviction of any felony;

(e)    Unlawful destruction of public records;

(f)    Resignation;

(g)    Recall or removal from office;

(h)    Ceasing to possess the qualifications for office;

(i)    Failure, following election or appointment to the office, to qualify for the office within ten days after the time for the term of office to commence.

(2)    An office becomes vacant upon declaration by the council of the vacancy in case of the incumbent’s:

(a)    Termination of residency in the city;

(b)    Termination of a council member’s principal residency in the area he or she represents;

(c)    Absence from the city for thirty (30) consecutive days without consent of the council;

(d)    Absence from the meetings of the council occurring within a sixty (60) day period without the council’s consent.

8.2 Filling Vacancies

A vacancy in the council shall be filled by appointment by majority of the council, provided, however, that the council may in its discretion call a special election for the purpose of filling such vacancy. The appointee’s term shall begin immediately upon his or her appointment and qualification and shall continue through the unexpired term of the appointee’s predecessor. During the temporary disability of a council member, or during a member’s absence from the city, the office may be filled pro-tem in the manner provided for filling vacancies in office.


9.1 Ordaining Clause

The ordaining clause of an ordinance shall be: “The City of Lincoln City ordains as follows:”.

9.2 Adoption by Council.

(1)    An ordinance may be enacted at a single meeting of the council by unanimous vote of all council members voting when a quorum is present upon being read by title only. If a request is made by any council member for the ordinance to be read in full, the ordinance shall be read fully and distinctly prior to vote on the ordinance, unless at least three days before the reading a copy of the ordinance was provided for each council member and three (3) copies of the ordinance were available for public inspection in the office of the custodian of city records and notice of the availability of the ordinance was posted at City Hall and two (2) other public places in the city.

(2)    If, after first reading of the ordinance in full or by title, the council does not unanimously approve adoption of the ordinance, the ordinance shall come back to the council for a second reading at a the council meeting on a different day. The second reading shall be by title only, unless a council member requests that the ordinance be read in full and a majority of the council concurs that the ordinance should be read in full. Adoption of an ordinance after second reading requires the express concurrence of a majority of the members of the council voting when a quorum of the council is present.

(3)    An ordinance read by title only has no legal effect if it differs substantially from its terms as it was filed prior to the reading unless each section so differing is read fully and distinctly in open council meeting before the council adopts the ordinance.

(4)    Upon the adoption of an ordinance, the ayes and nays of the council members shall be entered in the record of council proceedings.

(5)    After adoption of an ordinance, the custodian of city records shall endorse it with the date of adoption and the endorser’s name and title of office. The mayor shall also sign the ordinance and include thereon the date of signing and the title of office.

9.3 Effective Date

A non-emergency ordinance takes effect on the thirtieth (30th) day after its adoption or on a later day the ordinance prescribes. An ordinance adopted to meet an emergency may take effect as soon as it is adopted or on some other date specified in the ordinance.


10.1 Procedure

The procedure for making, altering, vacating, or abandoning a public improvement shall be governed by general ordinance or, to the extent not so governed, by applicable state law.

10.2 Special Assessments

The procedure for fixing, levying, and collecting special assessments against real property for public improvements or other public services shall be governed by general ordinance.

10.3 Public Contracts

Public contracts shall be in accordance with state law and ordinances and resolutions adopted by the City Council and at the discretion of the local contract review board for the city of Lincoln City in accordance with the rules and regulations adopted by the local contract review board.


11.1 Debt Limit

The city’s indebtedness may not exceed debt limits imposed by state law. A city officer or employee who creates or officially approves indebtedness in excess of this limitation is jointly and severally liable for the excess. A charter amendment is not required to authorize city indebtedness.

11.1.5 Imposition and Allocation of Transient Room Tax.

(1)    For the privilege of occupancy in any hotel, each transient shall pay a tax in the amount of nine and one-half percent of the rent charged by the operator. The procedures applicable to the collection, administration and enforcement of this tax shall be governed by ordinance of the city.

(2)    After payment of the costs associated with administering the fund determined as provided by ordinance of the city, the net funds collected pursuant to a tax of 9.5 percent of the rent charged by the operator shall be distributed as follows:

(a)    One eighth of the revenue from the 8 percent tax shall be irrevocably pledged and utilized, while bonds are outstanding, for the repayment of the general obligation bonds issued for the purpose of acquisition or construction of a Library and Civic Center at Lincoln Square, and for payment of refunding bonds, if any are issued to reduce debt service for this issue, except that, while bonds are outstanding, any surplus of one eighth of the revenue over the debt service on the bonds or refunding bonds also may be used for renovation, rehabilitation, improvement, and physical maintenance of Lincoln Square. Thereafter, this portion of the transient room tax will be allocated to other capital construction needs of the city.

(b)    Two eighths of the revenue from the 8 percent tax shall be deposited in the city’s Visitors and Convention Bureau Fund, shall be restricted to marketing Lincoln City as a tourist destination, and shall be expended solely and directly by the city’s Visitors and Convention Bureau. “Marketing” means those activities that will increase Lincoln City’s share of leisure, motorcoach, and conference business through advertising, public relations, collateral materials, tourism research, and operation of a visitor information center.

(c)    One eighth of the revenue from the 8 percent tax shall be allocated to the public safety needs of the city.

(d)    Four eighths of the revenue from the 8 percent tax shall be retained by the city to be used for the purposes of street construction and maintenance, traffic control signals, drainage facilities, (including storm drains), pedestrian safety equipment and features, lighting, right-of-way acquisition, pavement widening, grade separation, bridge or culvert construction, channelization, and street extension, for park and recreation facilities construction and maintenance; for community celebrations and the provision and maintenance of visitor-oriented outdoor signs and facilities; and for the actual and reasonable administrative costs allocable to such stated purposes or any of them.

(e)    Beginning July 1, 2008, the revenues from the increase of one and one-half percent transient room tax shall be allocated in the following proportion: 30 percent to public safety needs of the city and 70 percent to tourism promotion or tourism-related facilities including programs of the city and eligible non-profit corporations that primarily serve the shoulder and off-season period of September 16 through June 30, and as allocated in the City’s annual budget.

(Amendment approved by the voters May 20, 2008, effective July 1, 2008; amendment approved by the voters May 21, 2002, effective July 1, 2002: tax originally approved by voters June 25, 1991, effective January 1, 1992)

11.2 Continuation of Ordinances

All ordinances of the city consistent with this charter in force when it takes effect remain in effect until amended or repealed.

11.3 Structures Exceeding 45 Feet in Height.

(a)    Notwithstanding any other provision of this charter, nor of state law, no variance, permit, license or consent shall be granted by the city of Lincoln City, nor by any council, board, commission, agency or officer thereof, for the construction or erection of any structure used for human habitation more than 45 feet in height within the city of Lincoln City as it now or in the future may be, unless such variance, permit, license or consent first shall be approved by the voters of the city of Lincoln City at a regular or special election; nor shall any person, corporation, partnership, association or public agency construct or erect such a structure without such prior approval by the voters of the city of Lincoln City.

(b)    For the purposes of this section, “height” shall mean the vertical distance from the average of the finished ground level at the center of all walls of the building to the highest point of the roof, exclusive of chimneys.

11.4 Repeal of Previously Enacted Provisions

All charter provisions of the city enacted prior to the time this charter takes effect are repealed. This repeal shall not affect the validity of an outstanding bond issued by the city or impair the obligation of the city under the bond or the rights of the holders of the bond, and it shall not affect bond issuing power or the power of taxation that has not been exhausted.

11.5 Severability

The terms of this charter are severable. If a part of the charter is held invalid, that invalidity does not affect another part of the charter, except as the logical relation between the two parts requires.

11.6 Time of Effect of Charter

This charter shall take effect January 1, 1989.