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Letter to the Editor…Neighborhoods – Not Vacation Rentals

From:  Roger Keehn, Waldport, Or

Left untreated, cancer feeds on, consumes, and eventually kills the body.  Left unchecked, STRs feed on, consume, and kill the soul of a neighborhood. Drive through Bayshore and count the signs from Vacasa, Meredith, Sweet Homes, etc. vying for business.  It is a soulless and sterile place to live, prosper, and enjoy any semblance of what a neighborhood should be.  Several STR owners are currently united to gain control of the HOA Board to thwart any restrictions that might hinder their STR income and influence. Bayshore is on life support.  Remaining unincorporated communities are infected and quickly following suit unless a realistic remedy is implemented.

Before the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners are four recommendations, or remedies, to address STRs: (1) Limit the number of people per STR, (2) Periodic septic system inspection, (3) STR Complaint process, and (4) STR caps.  All seem worthy on the surface, but all they do is add layers of complexity and bureaucracy.  Significant questions of implementation, management, enforcement, added personnel, and payment for these abound. Will the moratorium on issuing new STR licenses continue while these questions are resolved? At best, the STR caps keep the cancer from spreading.

None of these recommendations, however, resolve the issue of restoring neighborhoods to health and vitality where families and neighbors can enjoy each other, and help and support each other in time of need.  Do not be swayed with a fallacious argument of lost jobs and taxes, or threats of businesses leaving or not locating here.  People will still visit, stay, spend, and enjoy the coast from the beauty of their hotel or motel.  The only solution that will effectively resolve all of the issues with people, septic, and residents’ complaints is to CAP and reduce and/or eliminate STRs in residential neighborhoods over a 5 year period, or to use the successful City of Hood River model.

Send a clear message of support for reclaiming our neighborhoods by signing the petition at www.15neighborhoods.com

Roger Keehn
Waldport, OR

 

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