Want a problem we can fix on May 18?
Where do Lincoln City’s essential workers live? They live in unincorporated Lincoln County, which is poised to super-size the STR Industry’s chokehold on our residential neighborhoods and further reduce the long-term housing stock on February 23.
What happens to the long-term workforce housing stock on February 22, 2021, the date short term vacation rentals (STR or VRD) are on the Board of Commissioners’ Agenda?
Depending upon the Commissioners’ decision, Investors who were not among the 601 short-term rental business license holders in Unincorporated Lincoln County March 4, 2019, become eligible to apply for a STR business license and begin charging a nightly rate ranging from $150 to $1500 per night.
Under the terms of the Commissioners’ Temporary Suspension of New Licensing, adopted on March 4, 2019, STR Business License Applications are not “accepted” by the Sheriff’s Department. Last August, however, reliable sources have shared that more than 200 recent Investors are eager to submit applications for new STR licenses. What are these out of town investors doing in the meantime? Probably offering month-to-month rentals, perhaps using FEMA funds, at more modest rates.
We do not have to turn people out on the street, force families to move in with grandparents, or leave the area come February 23.
There are many sound public policy reasons and ways to protect both our senior and are younger full-time residents as the Lincoln County Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Code sets out. Promoting the tourism by reducing our long term housing stock is not among them.
For instance, how many residents who lost their homes in the fire will remain unhoused because the FEMA supplement paid for temporary lodging has run out? At what point do schools close, because there are not enough children. How many non-tourist businesses needed for a permanent community will be force to close as we become just another “Lincoln City” where local housing is unavailable.
Lincoln County Representative-Elect Dick Anderson boasted in March 2019 that “Lincoln City has the largest number of rented rooms of any city on the coast between San Francisco and Seattle.” https://lincolncityhomepage.com/rep-gomberg-mayor-anderson-testify-at-sb-621-public-hearing/
At the same Hearing, Lincoln County Representative David Gomberg testified that “In Lincoln City about half of the housing is currently either vacation rentals or second homes. They are not available for long-term family or workforce housing.”
The most immediate and direct way is to solve this problem is to pass the STR Ballot Measure in May. This Measure will (1) stop licensing STRs in Residential Zones and (2) gradually phase-out STR in Residential Zones over five years.
BUT FIRST, it has to qualify by February 17 and this requires 1, 454 valid signatures. Signatures are valid for two years; if you have already signed, give someone else a signature sheet.
All registered Lincoln County voters are eligible to Sign the STR Petition and to Vote on the Ballot Measure in May. The changes apply only in unincorporated County, but City residents have a say in whether the rest of us can achieve a rough parity with you.
The Ballot Measure will preserve the older homes in established residential neighborhoods that risk being bought up as investments. According to County records, 94% of the licensed 601 STRs in unincorporated Lincoln County are owned by non-Lincoln County residents.
To accomplish this, we need to license STR/VRDs in commercial/tourist zones ONLY. STR/VRDs dominate too many residential neighborhoods in unincorporated Lincoln County.
No more nightly rentals in low-density neighborhoods. The health and safety of our full-time residents must come first. Residential Zones are not Resorts.
Curious about this solution? Go to www.15neighborhoods.com to read the Petition and download the Signature Sheet.
Motels and STRs/VRDs are for transients renting nightly. Homes are for neighbors living, playing, and working together for months or years.
Unincorporated Lincoln County