A new registration program for short-term rentals was ratified on Wednesday by the Nantucket Select Board and the Board of Health that will require operators of short-term rental properties to formally register with the town - and abide by a slew of new rules - by Jan 1, 2023.
Town Meeting voters set the stage for the new regulations back in May when they approved Article 39
a general bylaw amendment, to establish a framework to regulate and register short-term rentals on Nantucket. The proposal was sponsored by the Planning Board and was adopted on a 610-302 vote.
Following that vote, a small internal staff group of town staff members convened to prepare draft regulations for the Board of Health and Select Board to consider. The draft was also sent to Granicus, the private firm the town has hired to monitor and track short-term rentals on the island.
Among other provisions, the regulations adopted by the Select Board and Board of Health on Wednesday will require the following:
- Short-term rental operators must obtain a certificate of registration from the Board of Health that has to be renewed annually by Nov. 1.
- Pay an annual fee of $250 per unit for the certificate of registration.
- Short-term rental operators must provide the town with the name and contact information for an individual who can respond to the property at any time of day within two hours to address major issues (such as a fire, plumbing, etc.)
- A certificate of insurance for liability coverage to operate the property as a short-term rental with liability limits of at least $ 1 million per claim, unless the rental is offered through a hosting platform that maintains equal or greater coverage.
- Limit occupancy of short-term rental properties to two people per bedroom plus two additional people in the unit.
- Ensure parking at short-term rentals does not create a public health or public safety issue or create undue traffic congestion.
Health Department director Roberto Santamaria told the boards that he expected it would take at least a year to get all of the new regulations up and running.
While there was some debate over the annual fee, and the requirement to have a person essentially on-call to respond to major issues at short-term rental properties, there new regulations did not face any significant opposition.
Meanwhile, the Select Board, Planning Board and Finance Committee on Wednesday also appointed the members of the new Short-Term Rental Work Group.
The work group, which was created by Town Meeting voters back in May after they decided to table two controversial zoning proposals related to short-term rentals, has been tasked with further studying the issue and finding consensus.
After months of discussion regarding the mission, membership and scope of the new work group, the town administration was inundated with applications from those seeking a seat at the table. A record 41 applicants have submitted forms to be considered as candidates, far more than any other appointed committee has ever received.
Here are the members of the new Short-Term Rental Work Group who were appointed Wednesday night:
- (1) Planning Board member: David Iverson (primary), Barry Rector (alternate)
- (1) Finance Committee member: Peter Schaeffer (primary), Joe Grause (alternate)
- (1) Advisory Committee of Non-Voting Taxpayers member: Peter Kahn (primary) William Gardner (alternate)
- (1) ACK•Now member: Julia Lindner (primary) Carl Jelleme (alternate)
- (1) Nantucket Together member: Kathy Baird (primary), Robin Nydes (alternate)
- (1) Affordable Housing advocate: Thomas Dixon
- (3) At-large primary members John Kitchener, Jim Sulzer, Karen Zagayko
- (1) At-large alternate member alternate (voting): John Delano
- (1) Board of Health designee (non-voting) Meri Lepore
The alternate members will attend and participate in meetings of the work group, but will only vote if the primary member from their segment is not able to vote.