When too much emphasis is put on tourist accommodations by welcoming the loss of single-family homes to short-term rental investment, the consequence is high. For Lincoln County, the cost is greater than 2,000 homes sacrificed to provide tourist accommodations. Many once single-family neighborhoods outside the cities have become stomping grounds for resort-like behavior. We must ask ourselves, why we aren’t encouraging community relationships that come with having 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 five-year phase out of STRs. The STRs within cities will still remain. Don’t be fooled into thinking this will sink the county economy.

We have a diverse economy. Isn’t retention of our vital residents working in health care, schools, fisheries, science, trades, fire and police important? Let’s value our residents — new and old — enough to want them to have available housing. Life’s necessities include water, food and shelter. Don’t discount the importance of feeling secure and respected. These two often come from not only being part of the greater coastal community, but also from the neighborhoods in which we live.

Individuals opposing Measure 21-203 want you, the Lincoln County voters, to believe that homes converted to STRs are not financially feasible for residents. Residents come from all different financial backgrounds, therefore don’t judge purchasing power.

People living in neighborhoods outside the cities have borne witness to the lifeline that was provided when the board of commissioners put a temporary moratorium on licensing new STRs. The truth of what happened during this time is a door was opened for residents, new and old, to purchase homes that formerly would have been snatched up for STR use. It happened in my own neighborhood. 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 through volunteering. Putting the needs of residents first strengthens the county.

Traci Burks

Beverly Beach

Unincorporated Lincoln County

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