Hit with $1.8M fine, vacation rental owner sues Oregon city

MANZANITA, Ore. (AP) — A property owner fined $1.8 million for operating a vacation rental without a license is suing the Oregon coastal city of Manzanita.

The Daily Astorian reports that Sandra Petersen, of Washington state, sued last month in federal court in Portland to challenge the penalty as excessive and unconstitutional.

The city fined her in October for operating without a license and not paying lodging taxes. Petersen said the city notified her of the citations in one document, nearly two years after the first alleged violation.

According to a court filing, Petersen believed she wasn’t violating the ordinance because she only allowed family and friends to stay there and only took donations for supplies and maintenance.

A city letter in 2009 informed Petersen the property must be registered as a short-term rental to legally accept money.

The city declined to comment.