The purpose of this section is to consolidate information resources to make it easier to understand the many forces associated with vacation rentals. While there are national and international impacts, the rubber meets the road here in San Juan County. We reference many SJC information resources so you can do your own research about the impacts experienced here. We invite you to double check our calculations and to offer your expertise and resources that may help everyone develop wise long term solutions.
San Juan County’s information resource links are subject to change without notice. If a link doesn’t work, please let us know! Thanks!
Impact of Airbnb and other online vacation rental reservation platforms:
San Juan County Information Resources
SJC data resources are constantly being developed, changed and moved from one location to another. The resources listed here are by no means exhaustive. They cover areas and issues related to the Vacation Rental Topic, which itself has been considered a sub-set of a much larger topic, the current update to the county’s Comprehensive Plan, itself a document required by Washington State’s Growth Management Act (GMA). Except for the Vision Statement, the following references do not include Comp Plan or GMA materials.
The data sub-committee of the Vacation Rentals Working Group has concentrated on data publicly available at the GIS Open Data Resources link. There are a large number of downloadable datasets within this area. Each dataset focuses on one department’s views and needs for data. To get a comprehensive view, it is essential to combine the information from multiple datasets. San Juan County does not do this. The data sub-committee is committed to a comprehensive, transparent, clear process for determining which datasets are relevant, which fields within the datasets are appropriate, which summary calculations are needed, and for outlining the detailed process by which data has been assembled, calculated, summarized, presented and interpreted. Interested readers are encouraged to contact members of the data sub-committee if they have questions about the findings that have been generated and/or would like to offer suggestions, do research, ask additional questions. Please contact us by email or via the contact us tab if you wish to obtain a spreadsheet of the Vacation Rental Permit data, which has been enhanced by integrating it with SJC parcel data; this spreadsheet serves as the basis for the data that has been presented during the community conversations.
In addition to data available at the GIS open data set section of the county’s web site, the data sub-committee has obtained additional resources via various public records requests. This process is ongoing; the number of SJC datasets, their departmental location, their contents, and their public availability is largely unknown. There is no single place where all public available data is listed and described.
Further, when diving into the weeds of the contents of these datasets, the data sub-committee has yet to find any crib sheet that describes what the field names stand for or what many field contents stand for. Requests for this information have been repeatedly solicited and repeatedly (if courteously) been replied to that this information does not exist.
San Juan County Contact Information (links to people, departments, agencies)
Planning Commission meeting, July 2019, A/V recording, covering current status of vacation rental activity by DCD. Presented by Erika Shook.
Impact Studies re: San Juan County
Study of Socioeconomic Impacts of Growth Pressure in Selected Seasonal/Resort Communities (Compares San Juan County to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. May 2000)
Responsible Travel / Trends and Statistics 2018/ Definition of Overtourism