There is no better time than right now to save what all of us hold sacred about the beauty of the land, water, trees, mountains and shoreline of the San Juan Islands.
It has now become clear our commissioners will have no part of ever considering a VRBO moratorium and they will not allow discussion of a proposed Ordinance.
They are vacationing a fools paradise. It is clear the People can and will bring on a moratorium, or for that matter, an outright ban, on further vacation rentals.
Both voter imposed moratorium or total ban are legal under land use law. Both could be considered at the same time by two initiatives which the voters can sign one or both at the same time.
It only takes 15% of the voters in the last election to get a petition to the people. A simple majority, and it becomes law. Off-Island voters not registered to vote here have no say and cannot vote on the initiatives.
By my count for every one pro-VRBO there are three no. Any petition will pass. The Commissioner's be damned.
VRBO is killing communities all over the world. Consider Bellingham. One entire neighborhood became so changed neighbors no longer wished to live there. Moratoriums and bans abound across the worlds.
If you are one of the lucky ones with a permit in hand, with moratorium/ban you can expect the value of your property to skyrocket. Or, with no moratorium or ban, ·'every new VRBO diminishes the value of yours and further trashes the Islands.
More rules is not the answer. Human nature, being what it is, there will be more destructive behavior no matter how well intended vacationers are. Two teenage boys from the VRBO immediately to the East of us reportedly set fire to a brush pile on our property just before leaving with their family at 10 am. Had the incoming cleaning crew not noticed our property was on fire we would have lost tree acreage to fire. Our other neighbor adjacent to that same VRBO describes its use as like having a family reunion every weekend.
We must act and act now! Power to the people!