A city recently passed legislation to phase out most vacation rentals in residential neighborhoods by 2023. The city council voted unanimously to support the initiative, and it was supported soundly by the voters. Sadly, I’m not speaking of Lincoln City. It was the residents of Cathedral City in California that saw their city leaders stand up for them.
As more cities and counties realize the negative impact of vacation rentals, more of their leaders are pushing vacation rentals out of neighborhoods instead of cowering over fear of lawsuits by Airbnb and other industry supporters. When litigation happens, rulings are overwhelmingly going against the vacation rental industry. Airbnb spent $75,000 fighting the Cathedral City measure and still lost. They and other industry supporters are spending heavily in multiple cities, and losing.
Candidates running for Lincoln City mayor owe us their opinion on this subject — except Don Williams, who already stated on the record while serving as mayor previously that he doesn’t believe in restrictions on the number of VRDs (vacation rental dwellings) allowed in Lincoln City. He made this statement when we were working on a 10 percent cap in Roads End. Years later, my neighborhood is still overrun with VRDs, nowhere near the approved 10 percent cap because attrition isn’t the answer.
For those screaming about lost revenue, there are lots of options for keeping tourism dollars without the downside of rentals in residential areas. Other cities have done it. Numerous U.S. and foreign cities, who rely on tourism, said enough to destroying neighborhoods with vacation rentals. The reasons are the same no matter which state, city or country you look at.
Not surprisingly, I have not heard of a single city going down the tubes because they made that decision. City leaders, please stop telling us it can’t be done where there is proof that it can.