STRs should be in appropriate locations


"Use of dwellings for transient occupancy purposes (short term rentals or STRs) has immitigable adverse impacts on surrounding residential uses and is therefore prohibited." These are not the words of anti-business, anti-tourist malcontents who want to change the time-honored practice of renting out a beach house to pay the mortgage. This is the 1996 Ordinance No. 24 zoning regulations for the city of Depoe Bay. Depoe Bay, mecca for both tourists and businesses, recognized that STRs did not mix with quiet residential neighborhoods and phased them out. Lincoln City limits the number of STRs, and a license must be retired for a new STR to get on the list.

For unincorporated neighborhoods in Lincoln County, no such oversight or relief is present. That is why neighbors fed up with noise, traffic, garbage and general disruption from STRs are working on a ballot measure to limit exponential growth of this blight on our neighborhoods. This proposal is modeled on those enacted in Depoe Bay and other coastal towns. It encourages longer-term rentals, creating more housing stock. Longer-term rentals can contribute to the health and common good of small neighborhoods. Mini-motels with no manager present to stop the noise, control speeding traffic and pick up garbage have no place next to the homes of those who live here permanently. The vacation rental industry is a powerful and expansive business, as you will no doubt see if this proposal receives enough signatures to make the ballot.

We are not anti-tourism, but tourist facilities should be in appropriate locations. A short-term rental house with rotating groups of strangers has no place in small quiet neighborhoods. Depoe Bay recognized this in 1996.

You can read the full text of the measure and download signature sheets at 15neighborhoods.weebly.com.

Eric Meyer

Unincorporated Lincoln County

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