My family has lived in Cove Beach for over 12 years. It's been truly heartbreaking to see our community become so divided. What was once a restorative place that my family dreamed of spending every weekend at is now a place we only occasionally go to these last few years, preferring places that bring us joy.
In many ways, Cove Beach has become a microcosm of what is wrong with the world. Division, unkindness, misuse of power.
We must ask ourselves, do we live in a gated community? No. Did the visionary governor, Oswald West, want just a few people to have the exclusive use of Cove Beach? No. Did he want to keep Oregon's beaches accessible to all, not just the privileged few? Yes.
Let's consider how short-term rental policies impact access for all Oregonians. Prioritizing a small number of full-time residents' nuisance complaints, versus keeping the Oregon Coast accessible to all of the state’s inhabitants is, by its very nature, exclusion.
Issues like noise, garbage, fires on beaches, parking, water use, conservation, are all things that we, as a community, can fix together, but let's not use those as a reason to exclude "others" and limit access.
My continued hope is that we can all come together as a community, open our hearts and see the responsibility of the privilege we have as property owners in this amazing place, and work together — keeping in mind both our smaller neighborhood communities and access for our greater community of Oregonians.