Letter: Moratorium on vacation rentals is ‘anti-tourist’

Editor,

I am not sure if anyone else is aware of this, but today I found out that Coupeville has put a moratorium on vacation rentals effective June 12.

My wife and I have started a business to help homeowners who have extra space, or who live on the island part time, to operate vacation rentals. Many do it today, but they don’t understand that there are codes, regulations and, of course, taxation requirements.

We have decided to invest in Coupeville for the unique experiences and the proximity to most everything island life. We have been renovating a dilapidated home in the town and we have made it into something much better than it was.

Now we cannot apply — not that we are ready, but my clients are — for a conditional use permit for at least six months.

The main issue I have with this is — they are only denying the people who want to be legit. The town states that it has no evidence that homes are being used as “transient accommodations.”

They may be transient, but they are visitors exploring the greatness of Whidbey Island and what it has to offer.

Transient, though legally accurate, has a negative connotation. Also, what about the income it brings in to Coupeville? Many locals have expressed that the Town Hall is anti-tourism; come spend your money for the day, but go away.

Anyway, I think there is a story here that needs to be told.

Daniel Cornell

Oak Harbor

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