The short-term rental (STR) business in Lincoln County is a lamentable predicament for both residential property owners (like myself) and the owners of STRs, who have fallen prey to a grave mistake made by the Lincoln County commissioners.
In 2016, they broke with established zoning restrictions and allowed commercial enterprises to invade the quiet sanctity of our peaceful residential neighborhoods in unincorporated areas in Lincoln County.
How could this have happened in the first place? One assumes it was based on business interests and the prospect of money-making. I have no problem with folks making money, as long it is made in properly designated business zones designed for such activity.
However, this egregious break with existing zoning codes only served the investors and employees of STR businesses and the county in the fees they garner from licenses and transient room taxes. This questionable arrangement has left the permanent residents at the short end of the stick. Meaning, we taxpaying citizens have been snookered out of our right to happiness, peace and quiet that we originally bought into when purchasing our homes.
We believed that what R1A residential zoning meant and supposedly guaranteed was strictly single-family resident owners or long-term renters, and not the carnival of vacationing party goers that often run roughshod, noisily and insensitively over our formerly quiet neighborhoods.
I'm asking the current county commissioners to correct what was initially bad governance regarding the welfare of most of their constituents. It is never too late to assume the responsible and honorable position of representing we the people, rather than outside business interests, which own 94 percent of STRs.
Please, commissioners, reverse the STR debacle by stopping licensing in unincorporated areas and phasing out existing ones. Re-establish the original intention of residential zones — strictly residential. I beseech you to make this pivotal declaration. Thank you.