The community conversation on vacation rentals continues 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 25. Moving forward, get ready for a second “Community Conversation” about vacation rentals! We heard your call for more information about potential options for controlling various aspects of short-term vacation rentals: What is San Juan County doing to address these problems and what are other communities doing? What are the most viable approaches to achieve balanced growth and maintain environmental quality?
During the first meeting on July 17 island residents identified pros and cons of short-term vacation rentals, viewed presentations about the trends and impacts of vacation rentals in the county, and were introduced to some ways that other communities are managing the negative impacts of vacation rentals. A summary of the first meeting is available at vacationrentalsorcas.org. Major pros and cons expressed by community members present are summarized below:
Pros include income for island residents that help pay housing costs, jobs related to vacation rental housing, bringing people to the islands and supporting a tourist economy. Cons include a decrease of available affordable housing especially long term rentals for workers and their families, real estate speculation that increases the cost of housing, increased wear and tear on infrastructure including the ferry system, roads, and water and septic systems, over-tourism, environmental degradation and loss of neighborhood and community cohesiveness.
The meeting will occur Wednesday, Sept. 25 in the high school cafeteria from 6:30-8:30 p.m. All are welcome and encouraged to attend. Childcare will be provided.
Vacation Rental Work Group