While it is easy to give a few second sound bite and sound like you know something, don’t believe the short-term rental companies when they say our Measure 21-203 will ban all short-term rentals. It won’t. It doesn’t, and it can’t.  

What it does is give our neighborhoods and residents of Lincoln County a fighting chance at continuing to live in our county. It would phase out the STRs in residential neighborhoods, in unincorporated Lincoln County, nothing more, nothing less. And it would take five years to phase them out.  

We are not killing the county, we are not harming businesses. For years, STR owners and managers argued they were not businesses. Now they are saying “hands off my business?” That is the business that would be harmed, not the stores, the restaurants, the schools. In fact, the schools are hurting because of the investors from outside Lincoln County looking to profit from their property, not to live in it, not to rent it long term, but to capitalize and extract resources from Lincoln County. Because of this, there are no homes available for doctors, teachers, nurses and other well-paid professionals to live in so they can continue to work in this county.

And jobs. Have those of you who actually live here seen all the help wanted signs everywhere? We need people to fill those jobs that exist already. We don’t have a shortage of jobs, we have a shortage of workers, which the proliferation of STRs makes worse, not better.

Lincoln County’s driving economic force is not tourism, it is the fishing industry, the NOAA home port and the Hatfield Marine Science Center. And with or without the STRs in unincorporated Lincoln County neighborhoods, they will come and still stay in STRs in tourist-commercial zones, in the cities, and in our lovely motels, hotels, bed and breakfasts and campgrounds. So tourism is here to stay, but the business of STRs in our neighborhoods needs to get ready to pack up.

Don’t believe those with profits to make and only exaggerations to back up their fears. We live here, we experience the problems they cause — they only collect the money. Unincorporated Lincoln County neighborhoods are not for sale. 

Vote yes on Measure 21-203.

Rebecca Hayden

Unincorporated Lincoln County (Bayshore)

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