Just as Lincoln County residents were poised to vote on the issue of short-term rentals (STRs) in unincorporated communities, the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners proposed a revised STR policy. I voted yes on Measure 21-203 because the commissioners’ plan fails to address the root problem of STRs in those neighborhoods. Since a license to operate an STR isn’t tied to a physical address, when it’s surrendered or revoked, a lottery will determine who gets the available license. That means people have no security they won’t end up living next door to an STR. A lottery indeed, and not what most of us expect in areas zoned for single-family housing. 

That was definitely true for me when I was looking for a home in Lincoln County several years ago. Fortunately, the homeowner next door to one property I was looking at told me how much she hoped to get an actual neighbor when the house sold. She pointed out three homes within view that were vacation rentals and explained how STRs were changing the livability of the neighborhood. My Realtor didn’t inform me about STRs. And despite their numbers and outsized impacts, STRs aren’t listed on Oregon’s real estate seller’s disclosure form. 

Directly or indirectly, all of us feel the impacts of converting homes to lodgings. No matter where you live in Lincoln County, weigh in on STRs in family neighborhoods. Support residents in unincorporated communities and vote yes on Measure 21-203.

Shannon Nottestad

Newport

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