Planning Board Approves Short Term Rental Amendments and Revision of Recommendation Number 86 of 2019 Comprehensive Plan

Updated: November 19, 2020

Nine citizens spoke at the November 17, 2020 Public Hearing on Short Term Rental Amendments: four people spoke in favor of the amendments and five spoke against.  Following the Public Hearing, the Planning Board voted 7-0 in support of the Short Term Rental Amendments and 7-0 in favor of the revision to Recommendation number 86 of the 2019 Comprehensive Plan, Sec. 19-10-3.  With the board's approval, the amendments and revised recommendation will be forwarded to the Town Council for final review.  It is anticipated that the Town Council will address these items at the next Town Council Meeting, Monday, December 14.

The path to this point has been long, beginning with a Town Council Workshop on September 4, 2019 in which the council decided to refer a review of Short Term Rental regulations to the Ordinance Committee.  Since 2019, the Ordinance Committee has held eight meetings reviewing the ordinance and concluded with the forwarding of their recommendations to the Town Council this past June.  After a lengthy discussion on the short term rental recommendations during the July 20 Town Council Special Meeting, the council voted 5-2 in favor of forwarding the proposed amendments to the Planning Board.

The Planning Board has held four workshops since August 4 reviewing the ordinance and the impact short term rentals has on residential neighborhoods within Cape Elizabeth.  Among the primary issue prompting a review of the ordinance is the seeming incompatibility of a peaceful, quiet enjoyment of residential neighborhood properties with short term rental guests.  Typically visiting to vacation, the short term renters have a high turn-over rate and are not seeking to assimilate with the community.  Another concern is the impact short-term rentals have on the town’s housing stock.  Short term rentals limit the options for citizens interested in moving to the community, compounding the town’s already slim housing stock.  Perspectives in support of short term rentals point to the ability they offer residents who may be in need of supplemental income.

Following the November 17 meeting, it is anticipated that the Planning Board will forward the recommended amendments for the Short Term Rental Ordinance and the revision of Recommendation number 86 of the Comprehensive Plan to the Town Council for their approval.  For a review of the  Planning Board’s expected recommendations, please click here for a Draft Memorandum.

More: Public Information Department News Latest News Planning Department News