We are at a crossroads in this town. We are well on our way to being simply a destination resort. What does that mean? It means that our local government is most concerned with bringing more and more tourists here every year, despite the deleterious effects it is having on our community. On top of that, they seem willing to do absolutely nothing to soften those effects.
What is an example of this? How about folks parking all over the streets where we live. Eleven years ago when I moved back to this town, this was not a problem. As the tourist count has increased each and every year, it has become a major problem for a lot of people. Look at all of the ugly orange traffic cones that we now see on residential streets. I can’t fault those who use them. It’s about the only way for folks to keep some control over their own property. What has our local government done about residential street parking? Absolutely nothing! Are you really OK with this?
Another sign of a destination resort is that the people who actually do the work here can’t afford to live here. Folks are commuting to work here from Astoria and even further away. There has been plenty of discussion and hand wringing about the subject for years yet nothing has been done to remedy the situation. This is another great example of our local government at work.
If your desire is to have Cannon Beach become a community again instead of a destination resort, some radical changes are needed. You should know by now that these changes will not come from the City Council. Let’s begin by outlawing vacation rentals in Cannon Beach.
According to the folks that I talk to, Cannon Beach has approximately 2000 homes here. About 10% of those homes, or a total of about 200 are being used as vacation rentals. If we eliminate vacation rentals altogether, we would suddenly have more opportunities for the folks who work here to actually live here. I don’t think that it would be unreasonable to expect at least half of the vacation rentals to become long term rentals. Instead of having many homes vacant for nine months of the year, we would have a larger year round population. We could again become the community that we started out to be.
So, how do we do this? Our government has proven their impotence. It is up to us to put together a ballot measure to outlaw vacation rentals. It is really as simple as that. So, who wants to start the ball rolling?