Reinstate the shutdown on short-term rentals

We are asking the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners to please reinstate the short-term rental pause in unincorporated Lincoln County due to Gov. Brown's recent order limiting gatherings to no more than six people from no more than two different households. Because of this order, and the fact that our sheriff's office does not enforce occupancy limits in STRs, the governor is using the state police to enforce this limit and has stated that there will be potential fines and/or imprisonment if this order is violated. The pause you enacted this spring helped slow the spread of the virus in our county then and could do the same again now.

Because of the rampant spread of COVID-19 in our state and across the country, we need to stop renting these short-term rentals in unincorporated Lincoln County until the spread is controlled. The holiday season is upon us, and people are not stopping their gatherings even with the governor's orders and strict warnings to people. Since we cannot enforce the occupancy limits on our own, the only way to ensure compliance with the order is to shut down rentals until such time as the virus is contained, and that is when there is a vaccine.

Until we have a vaccine, we should reinstate the shutdown on rentals. Hotels do not have the same problem as STRs do — the staff at the hotels can enforce occupancy and will do so.  STRs with no owner on site, which is the majority of STRs, cannot be checked and occupancy enforced by our sheriff's department. 

Please protect all Lincoln County residents by temporarily closing STRs through the end of 2020. The holiday season is too much of a temptation for people to gather, and this year the temptation is even greater, I fear. Closing short-term rentals will help stop the spread of COVID and comply with Gov. Brown's order for no gatherings over six people from no more than two households.

Jay Riley

Depoe Bay


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