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Think Out Loud

The Shoulder Season

Pete Springer/OPB

As kids gear up to go back to school and nights get a little cooler, you may be thinking about squeezing in one last weekend on the coast. Or, perhaps, you’re watching as the tourists trickle out of your coastal community. Either way, life is shifting in Oregon beach towns into what locals refer to as the “shoulder season.” Seasonal workers are preparing to look elsewhere for jobs and at least one Seaside resident is looking forward to being able to buy s’more fixings at her local grocery store again. (She said that marshmallows usually fly off the shelves in the summertime.)

Those who drop in to a coastal house for a short stint might not see how their visit affects local politics, but Tillamook County residents are currently battling over a new ordinance that would set up some formal rules for people who want to rent out their homes on a short-term basis.

Some residents of unincorporated towns that would be affected say they’d welcome safety requirements as well as noise and parking restrictions. Those who oppose the new rules say they would place an unfair burden on homeowners who depend on income from renters, especially in these tough times.

The recession has affected the Oregon coast, of course, by slowing development and new construction. Less disposable cash in people’s pockets has meant they often spend less on food and lodging when they come, but it doesn’t mean they’ve stopped coming. In fact, the coast is an attractive destination for those who might have chosen to fly off to more remote locations when they were feeling flush.

Do you visit the Oregon coast? When do you like to go? Where’s your favorite destination? Do you live on the coast? Do you rent out your home on a short-term basis? How does your life change in the fall and winter?

Special Note: Think Out Loud producers Julie Sabatier and Ben Lansky will have a roving microphone at the Pig ‘N Pancake in Seaside on Friday morning during the show. Come by anytime between 8 and 10am to share your thoughts!

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