How to join effort to limit number of vacation rentals

Orcas Island Vacation Rental Working Group is concerned about the proliferation of vacation rentals in the San Juan Islands. They plan to draft regulations and present them to the San Juan County Council sometime in January. They will ask for an immediate moratorium on issuing new vacation rental permits while the regulations are being considered.

Vacation rentals of less than 30 days are not allowed in the Town of Friday Harbor (with a few grandfathered in exceptions). Shaw Island bans them through its island-specific regulations. It's another story entirely in the rest of the San Juan Islands.  There are no limits on the number of vacation rental permits issued by San Juan County to any person or investor, regardless of where they live, how many VR permits they already have, whether they are sharing their home or have a separate house for guests, how many are already in their neighborhood, what the impact on water supply and/or septic system, whether permitted by their HOA, or by any other restrictions.

If you'd like to join the effort, more information including downloadable flyers is available at

More than 2,050 people have signed the petition  at asking for a moratorium.

If you check the box marked: Please share my name and email address with Orcas Island Vacation Rental Working Group, so that I can receive updates on this campaign and others - the group will know how to contact you. Or you can email with your name and location (island or connection to the San Juans). 

Organizers say they are especially looking to contact residents of San Juan and Lopez Islands. 

Volunteers are needed by the group. Email for more information. 

There is also a need for funding to help cover expenses (printing, child care, website, food, space rental). Donations are tax deductible.

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