Is this a clue to lack of year-round rentals?

San Juan County's GIS department has posted a map of the (approximate) locations of most of the properties that have vacation rental permits issued from 1990 to the present. The map does not  include permits for hotels, motels, resorts, or bed and breakfasts. 

Map of most of the permitted vacation rentals in the San Juan Islands

Maybe we should be reading Aesop's fable  "The Goose That Laid the Golden Egg". How much selling of the island do we need to do? How many top ten lists do the San Juan Islands need to be on? It's probably too late, but we need to have a community discussion about how much is too much. 


  • Michael MJ Johnson Tuesday, 08 August 2017 08:29 Comment Link

    Indeed, how much is enough. The following shows that our SJC leadership is going ape-shit for tourism. The following is from last week's paper--


    SJC is seeking proposals from entities interested in managing a broad-based, full time destination marketing organization (DMO). The contract award will be funded entirely from the proceeds of the portion of the San Juan County's Lodging Tax that is dedicated to the promotion of tourism. The contract may be up to five years with an annual "off-ramp" allowing termination by either party without penalty.

    Actual funding depends on Lodging Tax collections. For the purpose of this proposal, funding remains at apprx. $350,000 per year, plus 35% of any promotional funds available in excess of $425,000.

    The full RFP, as well as information and application, are available at You can also visit the County Council offices at 55 Second Street, 1st floor, Friday Harbor, Wa. or phone 360.370.7470. Applications must be received by 4 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017. LEGAL NO. SJ768203.
    Published: The Journal of the San Juan Islands. The Islands' Sounder July 26, Aug. 2, 2017

  • Joe Symons Monday, 07 August 2017 11:37 Comment Link

    You can learn about the history of the vision statement, the current comprehensive plan, the update process for the comp plan now underway, and the on going challenges about the impacts of growth, and most importantly, what you can do now to trigger those long overdue conversations, at

    The previous commenter spoke of "hope". Do not presume that others will carry the ball on this. They never have. If you believe brakes are important, you are strongly encouraged to contact your county council. All manner of action items are at the website

    Please weigh in. In a barn raising, only many hands will raise the wall.

  • Steve Ulvi Sunday, 06 August 2017 07:51 Comment Link

    That is exactly right. I hope that the vision element and discussion of "carrying capacity" of the county in the Comp Plan review will be more vigorous that in the past. It is past time to put on the brakes and slow up in order to allow future generations out here to have some options and opportunities that we are currently foreclosing....


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