Lincoln County Commissioners were “pitched” Monday on a rather wide-ranging proposal to create more business and industry for Lincoln County. The pitch was from a very knowledgeable promoter of business expansion to help budding local and out-of-area business interests – again – to become more commercialized, industrialized and attract more vacationers.
County Commissioners listened closely to the “development possibilities” but when the gentleman’s presentation of the vision was complete, the commissioners seemed less than convinced the plan would be suitable for Lincoln County. One aspect of the presentation was a strong hint of mixing-in Short Term Rentals (STR’s) or sometimes referred to as Vacation Rental Dwellings (VRD’s) into regular neighborhoods. Vacationers would spend a week in a corporate-owned apartment or house. Then they move out and new temporary tenants move in. And the cycle repeats. A large number of short-term renters are notoriously noisy, heavy on the alcohol and take up a lot of parking spaces on what is otherwise quiet neighborhood streets. And here’s the kicker – business owners who rent them out make a TON of money to the detriment of permanent neighbors.
There has been a growing movement on the coast, and elsewhere around the country, to stop the growth of STR’s and VRD’s because they tend to spring up in traditionally quiet, close-knit neighborhoods. Short-term renters tend to disrupt and quickly change the look and feel of a community. The business and industrial promoter was quickly challenged by the County Commission and was asked whether STR’s and VRD’s should be part of any new business and industry. The promoter walked around the issue and County Commissioners were most uncomfortable with his response. The commissioners said flatly the issue would have to be discussed in-depth. The commissioners were obviously leery of a possible transformation of the Lincoln County coastline, caused by multi-millionaires who own many short-term rentals. Lincoln County Commissioners put off any decision about increased numbers of vacation rentals. But the commissioners invited the business promoter back to explore with them what other options might make sense in Lincoln County – like building new short-term rentals in neighborhoods DESIGNED for short term renters.