PACIFIC COUNTY — Second homeowners are asked not to visit Pacific County until after Gov. Jay Inslee lifts the stay home order in the state.
About 4,000 second-home owners will receive letters in the mail from Pacific County asking they avoid coming to their second homes while Inslee’s order is in effect. About 1,000 of those letters were sent out on April 13 and 3,000 are ready to go, said Kathy Spoor, county administrator. About 100 homeowners were sent emails on April 10 regarding the county’s request.
The emails and letters were prepared after on April 9, Pacific County Health Officer Dr. Steven Krager reissued his beach and hospitality lodging closure, adding more guidance for homeowners in the county who do not live in the area full time.
The order also limited any future long-term hospitality rentals, 30 days or more, by banning new long-term hospitality rentals after April 9. This does not mean people can’t move to Pacific County or people within Pacific County who already live here can’t move, this is just meant to discourage people from vacationing in the area at this time.
Second homeowners and members of their households may still visit their properties, but are discouraged from doing so. The order emphasized that visiting a second home for anything other than essential business violates the governor’s non-essential travel ban. Letting others use a person’s second home also violates the governor’s ban, and the county intends to enforce this.
The county is contacting vacation rental owners and requesting they remove postings for rentals in Pacific County.
The order is meant to help protect Pacific County’s limited resources for things such as grocery store supplies and healthcare facilities.
Violators of the ban can be punished by a fine, up to 90 days in jail or both.
There are exceptions for people who lived in hospitality lodging since March 17 or are:
• Employed by a hospitality lodging business.
• Working directly on the covid-19 response, such as healthcare workers, first responders, national guard members, law enforcement as well as any local, state and federal government employees.
• Required by their work to ship deliveries to the county, such as truck drivers and service providers.
• Using a government or non-profit voucher to live in hospitality lodging
• Living in hospitality lodging as a result of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, harassment, or otherwise as a result of being a victim of crime.
More exceptions can be granted by the public health officer or other Pacific County health officials.
Hospitality lodging includes: resorts, hotels and motels; short-term rentals, timeshares, staying in a home hotel, such as in a bed and breakfast; campgrounds; RV parks; and private property being used as campgrounds.
Hospitality lodging does not include: emergency shelters, quarantine facilities or isolation housing.
The new guidance was unanimously supported by city and county officials during the Pacific County Emergency Operations Center teleconference on April 10, including all three county commissioners, all four of the county’s mayors and sheriff Robin Souvenir.
People with questions about the order, or who wish to request an exception be granted to them, are asked to call the Pacific County Emergency Operations Center at 360-875-9407 or 360-642-9407.