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Battle between those who want quiet, enjoyable neighborhoods vs. neighborhoods with chronic constant turnover…

Retain Residents – Restore Neighborhoods

When too much emphasis is put on tourist accommodations, which causes the loss of single family homes and turning them into Short Term Rentals (STR’s), we lose more than a sense of community. For Lincoln County the cost was greater than 2,000 homes sacrificed to provide tourist accommodations. Many single family neighborhoods outside city limits have become hunting grounds for investors intent on creating a resort environment.  We must ask ourselves why we aren’t encouraging community relationships that come with having real neighbors?

November’s election will bring forth measure 21-203. A yes vote will help restore single family homes in neighborhoods outside the cities through a 5-year phase out of STRs. The STRs within cities will still remain. But don’t be fooled into thinking this will sink the county economy. We already have a diverse economy. Isn’t retention of our vital residents working in healthcare, schools, fisheries, science, trades, fire and police important? Let’s value our residents, new and old, for them to have available housing along with sufficient water, food and shelter. Don’t discount the importance of feeling secure and respected – not only for being part of the greater coastal community, but also for the neighborhoods in which we live.

Individuals opposing measure 21-203 want Lincoln County voters to believe that homes converted to STRs are not financially feasible for residents. But residents come from all different financial backgrounds. People living in neighborhoods outside the cities have bore witness to the lifeline that was provided when the Board of Commissioners put a temporary moratorium on licensing new STRs.  What was happening was that a door was opened by County Commissioners for residents, new and old, to buy homes that formerly would have been snatched up and converted to STRs. It happened in my own neighborhood. But it wasn’t long before two former STRs were sold and then bought by full time residents. This benefits not only our neighborhood but the whole county. These are families serving the community in vital jobs and including community volunteering. Putting the needs of residents first strengthens Lincoln County.

Traci Burks, CMA
Unincorporated Lincoln County

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The above editorial is that of the writer and not necessarily reflective of the opinions of the staff and management of NewsLincolnCounty.com.

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