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November 2, 2021 Special Election by Jean Cowan


he November 2, 2021 Special Election is coming soon – if you know anyone who is not registered to vote in Lincoln County, the deadline to register is October 12! Measures before the electorate on the November 2 ballot are available for review on the Lincoln County Clerk’s website. Of particular interest, and hotly contested, is Measure 21-203, altering Short Term Rental dwelling licensing in unincorporated Lincoln County. It poses the question: “Shall Lincoln County prohibit new, and phase out existing STR licenses in certain residential zones, and adopt new STR restrictions?” During our September membership meeting, Monica Kirk offered a summation of what the measure will do. STR’s are defined as short term or transient rentals of less than 30 days. A yes vote will prohibit new and phase out existing licenses in single family residential zones (R-1 and R-2) in unincorporated parts of the county--but does not affect city zoning. Current STR licenses would be phased out over 5 years and no new licenses would be allowed in impacted areas. It is expected to impact approximately 525 housing units if those are in R-1 or R-2 zones. Multiple ownerships will be limited, as will maximum occupancy to 2 renters per bedroom, The measure will also prohibit transfer of business licenses.

Three fire districts are seeking a local option levy: North Lincoln Fire and Rescue District, Seal Rock Rural Fire District and Yachats Rural Fire Protection District. In the BelleMar Special Road district, three commissioner positions are open, each with one individual running unopposed. The City of Newport has two taxation questions before the electorate. One asks for a 5% tax on the sale of prepared food and beverage items. It is proposed to support public safety, including restoring or adding three police officer positions, three firefighter/EMT positions, and a parking enforcement officer. The tax will also expand library services and replace/repair city-owned facilities and make improvements to the city’s park system. The second proposal will impose a year-round five-cent per gallon tax on the sale of motor vehicle fuel. If the request is approved, it is estimated to raise $392,000 per year dedicated to street resurfacing and reconstruction needs.

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