I’d like to introduce some history and logic to the current rental housing crisis in Seaside. For the past 30 years or so, many of us tried to convince the planning commission and city council that allowing vacation rentals in residential zoning would destroy the purpose of such zoning, creating motel zones, instead. No one in either entity was interested in the opinions of locals. Creating housing for tourists became their priority. Many city council and planning commission members conveniently owned vacation rentals, or sold them for a living.
Now there are 398 vacation rentals here. Of that number, no less than 200 were formerly long-term rentals that provided housing for the people who lived and worked here. Where is the logic in claiming that vacation rentals and the housing shortage are two completely separate issues (“Wanted: Long-term rentals in Seaside,” The Daily Astorian, July 19)? Those 200-plus vacation rentals used to be housing that is no longer available to anyone. And now they are talking of ending all restrictions/licensing of these properties.
Think of this: At approximately 16 residential lots per block, Seaside has managed to divest us of residential housing, and replace it with 25 blocks of vacation rentals in a town of only 7,000 or so people. Wouldn’t it be nice to have 25 full blocks of housing available for rent? The council and planning commission are not working for the residents. They are working for anyone who comes from out-of-town, and couldn’t care less about those of us who live or work here. Creating tiny increments of housing by allowing over-retail apartments will not address the tremendous need these people have created via their thoughtlessness.
How about using some common sense, and stop the proliferation of commercial-use housing in residential zoning? How about encouraging use of residential zoning for residential use? What a concept, eh?
I’m so sick of their excuses.