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Letter to the Editor – Short Term Rentals – The election is drawing near….

BALLOTS ARE IN THE MAIL! 

If you are a registered voter in Lincoln County, you can vote on Measure 21-203 even if you live in an incorporated city that already has existing laws regarding STRs.

Measure 21-203 applies only to approximately 525 STRs outside city limits in Lincoln County.  The PACs are falsely advertising numbers attributed to all the STRs, motels, hotels, and campgrounds in the entire County.  Most every submission to the Voter’s pamphlet in opposition to Measure 21-203 are using those scare tactic numbers in their argument to vote against this measure.  Who is contributing large amounts of money to defeat measure 21-203?  Meredith Lodging, founded by Jon and Meredith Oksenholdt, alone contributed $200,000.00 to the Support Lincoln County Jobs PAC. Vacasa has contributed $25,000.00 to the Via Oregon Coalition PAC. View all the negative comments directed to Meredith Lodging and Vacasa on their websites; they are obviously chasing away the tourists.

You will see advertisements saying “ Keep your Laws Off My Land”,  “STRs Feed My Family”, and “STRs Keep Local Businesses Open”. Ask yourself, can just 525 houses cause all of this?  STRs have broken residential zoning laws causing full time citizens to move away.  The citizens who volunteer, donate to local charities, support local business year round and pay higher rates for housekeeping and maintenance services. 

The opposition to this measure are also asking STR owners to temporarily register themselves as voters in Lincoln County. These aren’t your neighbors and the majority of them don’t care if their “guests” cause problems.  Vacasa is currently advertising they can make an STR owner at least $20,000.00 more a year in rental income than competing management companies. Look at where the money goes.

Measure 21-203 was organized by a group of neighbors called 15neighborhoods who care about the future of Lincoln County. They spent their limited funds on a successful Land Use Attorney, Daniel Kearns, who concluded this measure is not a credible threat of a Takings law suit or claim for Measure 49 compensation.  This 5 page analysis has been sent to the county commissioners and their attorney.  You can receive a copy by calling 541-764-2658 for the link to this public record.  Many other large tourist cities are changing their STR regulations because they understand full time residents are their most important asset. YES on 21-203 will also eventually create desperately needed long term housing.   

Please join us and vote YES on 21-203.

Susan & Gordon Walker, Lincoln County

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