Mark Talks About Livability: Visitor Impacts

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Hi, I’m Mark Kuestner (KEST-ner) and I’m running for the Manzanita City Council. I have been going door to door asking voters what they love about their community and what challenges they believe it faces. I’m hearing a lot about Short-Term Rentals (STRs) and tourism impacts.

Local historian Mark Beach lectures in his popular local history class (which he is offering again this January!), that Manzanita was built as a summer getaway. Many of us call Manzanita home because we were visitors here at one time and decided that we love the natural beauty of our forests, ocean, and landscape. Still more have opened up their homes as STRs to bridge the affordability gap to make their long-term dream of living in Manzanita possible. Some citizens are worried to see the streets where they live have more transient housing than full-time residents.

The concerns are real. We are a vacation destination. Visitors who don’t follow the rules can be disruptive to a neighborhood. The livability factor that comes from knowing your neighbors is diminished when your house is surrounded by short-term rentals; the risk of damage, garbage, and noise can increase when the occupants of a home change from week to week or even day to day. Additionally, day visitors have a significant impact on our city’s infrastructure.

I attended most of the STR Workgroup meetings to learn what we could accomplish. From this earlier work, the City Council has established a permanent STR Committee to address many ongoing issues.

As we move forward, we also need to consider land-use and property rights laws that place legal limitations on what ordinances we can implement. We need to make prudent, legally-sound decisions to enhance our village character.

This is a complex issue that I, the City Council, the City Manager, and the Short Term Rental Workgroup have been studying for years. We must continue the research and the discussion to find solutions that work.

If you, too, want to see solid and reasonable government decisions, I am asking for your vote on November 8. Learn more about me at