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Letter: No more rentals

Penny and Rick Sabol re Gearhart short-term rentals

Published on October 6, 2017 12:01AM

When the proponents of Gearhart Measure 4-188 — on the November ballot to repeal and replace city law regulating and limiting transient rentals — claim that their measure will “protect property rights,” they mean their right to rent their homes on a short-term (usually weekends, or less than 30 days) basis — in other words, to conduct an illegal commercial business in a residential zone.

When we bought our home in Gearhart, we relied on our own legal right to live in a zone that was dedicated to residential use — a zone where commercial use, like turning a home into a motel, was illegal. When the city grandfathered the 84 existing short-term rentals last year, it was an act of kindness and compromise. It put a stop to the growth of an illegal industry heavily promoted by outside vacation rental agencies (Vacasa, Oregon Coast Vacations, etc.); at the same time, the city allowed those who were already renting illegally to continue, as long as the property did not change hands.

In a town that already has an R-3 residential zone for around 200 legal short-term rentals, we now hope to see a gradual decline in the number of short-term rentals permitted by compromise in our R-1 zone. The idea that out-of-state, absentee owners can advocate violating residents’ rights by allowing every house in town to become a short-term rental — sacrificing community for profit — is nothing short of outrageous.

Gearhart, vote “no” on Measure 4-188.

Penny and Rick Sabol



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