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05/13/2020

Council to eye proposals for short-term rental regulations at June 1 workshop

The Town Council will discuss draft updates to regulations on short-term rentals at a workshop June 1, 2020. The workshop will be held by videoconference – please see the website calendar for time and a link to join the meeting.

The council's ordinance committee has been working on the updates since October in response to residents' concerns over behavior of tenants at some rental properties.

A significant update being proposed gives priority to primary residences for operating a short-term rental. This in response to concerns about preserving neighborhood character and housing stock, and is one of several proposed changes intended to enhance tracking and enforcement. The committee is also recommending stronger penalties, among other changes.

The Ordinance Committee has also outlined other elements for discussion among the full council, including rental period caps; enforcement by a third party (funded through permit fees); and requiring conditional-use permits, with separate complaint mechanisms, for some short-term rentals.

"The Ordinance Committee is proud of the exhaustive opportunities for public comment provided during this process," says a May 1 memo from the committee. "It also supports the general Town Council intent to adopt new regulations with ample time for residents and property owners to adapt in advance of the 2021 STR rental season."

A 180-day moratorium on new short-term rental permits goes into effect June 1. Short-term rentals and homestays are also not permitted to operate while the town's COVID-19 emergency regulations are in effect. As of May 13, the regulations are due to expire June 30.

Jamie Garvin, who chaired the Town Council meeting on May 11, said the workshop is one of a series of opportunities the public will have to continue comment on proposed revisions. After the workshop, proposals will go to the Planning Board for public hearing and consideration, then back to the council for another public hearing before adoption.

For a complete summary of proposed revisions please click here.