Lincoln County’s Harmful Blame Game

November 10, 2021 1
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By Micah Perry

In a recent November special election, Lincoln County approved a ballot measure that imposes restrictions and bans on short-term rental housing, such as vacation rentals and Airbnbs.

In some areas of unincorporated Lincoln County, existing short-term rentals will be phased out over the next five years, and permits for new rentals will no longer be issued. The measure also reduces the occupancy limits of short-term rentals countywide, among other restrictions.

Fundamentally, the measure represents an infringement on the property rights of landowners in the county, who can no longer provide a valuable service for visitors to the community. With fewer rentals available, fewer tourists will be able to visit the county and spend money at local businesses. This will undoubtedly harm the county’s economy.

Proponents of the measure say short term rentals have caused the county’s increasingly expensive housing costs, but this blame is misplaced. The county’s own land use restrictions have prohibited residential construction in huge portions of the county. In zones where housing can be constructed, multifamily residences are often not allowed.

Rather than turning on property owners, Lincoln County should open up more land for high-density residential construction. In the meantime, the county’s commissioners should immediately repeal the new measure’s restrictions before they do permanent harm to property owners and the local economy.

Micah Perry is a Program Assistant for External Affairs at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.

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1 Comment

  1. Avatar for John Robinson

    John Robinson

    The NIMBY folks passed this measure that will most likely be challenged in court. These people got their dream property by the ocean and don’t want anybody else to have the same opportunity, or even the ability to visit and stay in a home near the ocean. Their constant drumbeat is that the STR’s take away housing. The reality is that the local working class cannot afford $500k to $1m homes. Their other claim is that there are plenty of hotels for people to stay in. An STR is actually more affordable for a large family than renting multiple hotel rooms. They also complain that the owners of the STR’s live out of state- and any profits are also going out of state. I wonder how many people who work in Lincoln County work for companies or corporations based out of state? Walmart, Starbucks, countless hotels- the list is endless. No problem with all those profits going out of state. If these NIMBY whinners actually cared about housing they could put all their effort into building more housing. Be proactive and do something positive instead of complaining and limiting others private property rights. But the current cancel culture seems intent on dictating their desires onto everyone else even if it means trampling on your property rights. Welcome to insanity.

    9:51 pm - November 12, 2021

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