Gearhart’s small town government is a never-ending source of amused frustration to me. First it was the ludicrous kerfuffle over Gearhart Crossing. Now, it’s short-term rentals.
I will be voting “yes” on Measure 4-188 because Gearhart’s current vacation rental dwellings ordinance is an ill-considered, authoritarian, anti-property rights effort at governance. It aims to fix a problem that, quite frankly, doesn’t exist.
The reality is, there is literally no enforcement of pretty much anything on homeowners, long-term rentals and second-home owners in this community. There are no septic inspections or residency inspections. Off-street parking issues are ignored unless neighbors complain.
Full-time residents (and long-term renters) are the friend/family with a place at the beach, and resultant periodic house overflowing with visitors, off-street parking jams and parties.
Gearhart’s second-home owners frequently roll into town, especially on holidays, invite the whole extended family, party hardy, set off their fireworks at 3 a.m., then leave. I bet every voter opposed to Measure 4-188 has been guilty, at one time or the other, of one or more of these issues. Welcome to the beach.
Every single problem that city leaders are trying to lay at the feet of short-term rentals is also generated by full-time home owners, long-term rentals and second-home ownership. At least with the short-term rentals, the city gets some extra income out of it.
The Gearhart City Council’s dream of eventually eliminating short-term rentals speaks directly to the local mindset that is trying to turn Gearhart into a private members-only community.
Measure 4-188 is not perfect — agreed. But vote “yes” to protect your property rights while you still have some. Then we can fix Measure 4-188.