The word community has many definitions, as it can refer to people, birds, insects, animals and such. To us, the word refers to a group of people with a common interest, living in one town, in a picturesque seacoast village, known for its friendly residents.
When we decided to buy property in Gearhart in March, after looking at several coastal towns in Oregon, we thought that we had found that little picturesque seacoast village, and were looking forward to becoming one of the friendly residents.
We were not wrong. Within one week, we knew the names of all our neighbors, because most stopped by and introduced themselves. Since it was springtime, many of them were working diligently in their gardens, and by the time summer came, their homes could have won prizes in House and Garden magazine.
“Oh yes,” I said to my husband, “this is the place where we will happily spend the rest of our years.” Unfortunately, in our opinion, a dark cloud lurked on the horizon, attempting to destroy our Shangri-La.
We were extremely knowledgeable of the term short-term rental, before we moved to Gearhart, and referred to it as the neighborhood monster: a creature large, ugly and frightening, which destroys residential communities. For those who have never experienced living in a community with short-term rentals, this neighborhood monster will damage and destroy any neighborhood if let loose on the streets.
We experienced the effects of this neighborhood monster while living in Las Vegas. We had to keep our doors locked at all times because of robberies attributed to transient renters. We witnessed increased garbage on the streets, people not picking up after their pets, multiple vehicles parked in neighborhoods where it was mandatory to keep your cars in the garage, and several noise violations, all due to this neighborhood monster.
Our community laws meant nothing to the short-term renters, as they were on vacation and did not care to respect the community. Worse yet, many property owners were not nearby, so these short-term renters did as they pleased.
Out of all the coastal communities, we chose Gearhart because it has an ordinance in place regulating short-term rentals. We implore the voting residents to keep it this way. Do not invite neighborhood monsters into Gearhart. Let us keep Gearhart residential. Please vote no on Measure 4-188.
Malcolm and Jenny Barbier Bruce