I want the best for Manzanita.

Solving Problems

October 11, 2022

We’ve all been hearing about the “problems with Short-Term Rentals” for a while now. I think we all agree that there are legitimate concerns about livability, noise, lighting, crowds, traffic…

However, I’ve been finding that there’s a lot of anecdotes but not enough data. I know from my career in academia that you cannot solve a problem without truly understanding it. For instance, when I met with Manzanita Police Chief Harth recently, I asked him what proportion of their calls were STR related. He said they have no way to know that. They might see a sign posted when they arrive, but that is not data that is tracked. So how do we KNOW noise issues are from STR guests?

We have crowds of visitors on Laneda but no one has done the work to find out if they are an overnight guest in Manzanita, staying at the State Park or Neahkahnie, visiting for the day, or a long-term city resident. Without data, how can we say that STR guests are the primary source of our parking issues or crowds?

The former STR Workgroup put forward many suggestions that will help fill these data gaps. I was glad to see that Council finalized the new STR Committee member roster at their last meeting. They can start the work required to get reliable data to present to Council so informed policy decisions can be made. I support their efforts and will advocate for funding and studies to find the root causes of our livability issues. I also think it’s critical that issues that impact our community at large are addressed in a way that helps everybody, not just neighbors of STRs. We have a new city-wide noise ordinance as a direct result of the Short Term Workgroup’s recommendations. One of their recommendations that would enhance local livability has yet to be implemented city-wide: an Intrusive Light Ordinance. There is much to discuss. Let's talk.