Opinion – Say No To 15nieghborhoods
It’s time for other opinions on the future of Short-Term Rentals (STR’s). The organization calling themselves 15nieghborhoods is driving a petition initiative that would stop the legal use of property in unincorporated Lincoln County. Their claims include that STR’s take away from available “affordable” housing, bring noise and nuisances and are a detriment to unincorporated Lincoln County.
The Chief Petitioners of this initiative all live in my “neighborhood” of Miroco, south of Depoe Bay. Our area has approximately 50+ homes and 5 STR’s. This area boasts no true family type setting, there are no school aged children and in fact is mainly retired, semi-retired or vacation use ownership. I doubt anyone could consider us “affordable” housing. The three Chief Petitioners market values of their homes, as identified by the Lincoln County Tax Assessor, range in value from $500,00 up to $1 million.
STR’s allow visitors to enjoy the short-term use of homes that they may never be so blessed to own. Ocean front/view, crashing waves against basalt rocks, whales so close to shore you can hear them breath. Our area also has an overlook, Rocky Creek Wayside, is just below Otter Crest Loop road offering scenic one-way paved road, hiking and biking trail up to the top of Cape Foulweather with views of Yaquina Head lighthouse.
STR’s provide the County some revenue via lodging taxes but STR’s also provide jobs to management companies, county residents involved in services such as cleaning, maintenance, lawn care, and retailers.
Lincoln County needs to closely monitor, regulate and license STR’s. The Lincoln County Commissioners and the Lincoln County Legal Counsel are working with residents, STR operators, STR management companies and other interested parties to strengthen rules.
The answer to STR’s is not in banning them. Lincoln County Legal Counsel, Wayne Belmont, has even advised the County Commissioners that the effort to ban STR’s as outlined in the initiative petition faces dubious legal prospects.
In full disclosure I am an owner of a Miroco Short-Term Rental as well as a full-time resident of Miroco. I have observed little to any problems in our particular area with renters.