County Crumbles Under the Weight of Too Much GROWTH Planning and Not Enough CAREFUL Planning
– MICHELE RILEY-
If you are a voter registered in Lincoln County, please sign our Short Term Rental Petition www.15neighborhoods.com
Well, I hope everyone had a nice last few days of September and you are ready to move right on into autumn. But for a moment, I want to revisit the past summer, or as many residents call it, tourist season.
This past summer, unofficially from June 1st through Labor Day, was very unusual in that we were in the midst of a deadly coronavirus pandemic. Over 200,000 Americans have died and that number continues to rise as to our cases of the disease. And now our President and First Lady have the coronavirus. So here is this week’s question: Should we allow tourism to continue during a pandemic? Or, should we allow only residents in our county at such an unprecedented time?
Personally, I was completely taken aback by the sheer number of people who decided to go on vacation when COVID-19 was flaring in America. It was a real shock that of all the things to do, going on a vacation was their priority. People acted like a mere few months at home was equivalent to 20 years in prison and come hell or highwater they were breaking out and taking a trip!
And, travel they did, by car. I have seen the license plates this summer, from all over the United States and Canada they came to Lincoln County.
To this writer, this is the last thing I would be doing with a deadly disease lurking and people refusing to take the proper precautions of hand-washing, mask wearing and social distancing. Why do you decide to go on a trip at this time? What is the reason to do this at this potentially dangerous, even deadly time? And why, why did our Governor and local government bodies not stop tourists from other states, especially hot-spot areas from coming to Oregon?
When Lincoln County had the outbreak of cases at the Pacific Seafood plant in Newport we could easily have shut down Lincoln County by closing three roads: Highway 18, Route 20 and the 101 South of Yachats. That is all it would have taken, closing three roads for Lincoln County to work through the outbreak and not infect others at the same time. State Police or officers from Lincoln City and Newport would be stationed at each of the roads coming into our County and would turn cars away with out-of-state driver’s licenses unless the driver could identify someone they were taking care of or if they were a first responder with a local fire department, clinic or hospital.
But did we do that, no. Then we had the devastating fires and again, the tourists were here. License plates again and not just the usual Washington and California crowd. Illinois, Michigan, Idaho, North and South Dakota, Hawaii, Alaska…
Tourists will always come and they will do things like climb over barriers, get knocked into the cold Pacific waters and need the Coast Guard to rescue them. They will do things that residents don’t dare to do, like trespass on others’ property, leave their children unsupervised and generally act like they have lost their minds when on vacation.
Perhaps this is a real phenomenon, “vacation mind,” when you lose control of your faculties and expect everyone else to take care of you as if you were at a four star resort. Except you aren’t. When you stay in a short-term-rental, you are in OUR neighborhoods. The first clue should be all the single family homes, the next clue is no check in building with a lobby, no restaurants, no pool, no tennis courts and no gigantic parking lot!
Yes, we are not a resort area. We are single family neighborhoods and we want to stay that way! You want resort amenities? By all means stay at one of our lovely hotels or motels in Lincoln County, there are wide varieties to suit all budgets. And they DO have many of the above amenities too! Oh, and please wait until the pandemic is over before you visit again. Thank you for staying home and saving lives.
Tired of Lincoln County elected officials not doing right by residents? Sign our petition!
Wish you could stop Short Term Rental renters from ruining your peace and quiet or sanity in a time of crisis? Sign our petition!
Sick of being an unpaid police officer in your neighborhood patrolling loose dogs, children or trash? Sign our petition!
Wish there was something you could do to protect yourself and your family from the threat of outsiders bringing in the corona virus? Sign our petition!
Tired of sitting by while our County crumbles under the weight of too much growth and not enough careful planning? Sign our petition!
Michele Riley, Steering Committee