Special Town Meeting Starts Tuesday With Focus Again On Short-Term Rentals

Nantucket Current •

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The island's legislative body - its registered voters - will gather on Tuesday for a Special Town Meeting with short-term rentals once again on the front burner.

After three years of extensive and contentious debate on how and whether to regulate and restrict short-term rentals, the Special Town Meeting will convene with bylaw recommendations from the work group voters appointed in 2022.

The result of months of meetings and deliberations by the Short-Term Rental Work Group, Article 1 and Article 2 are bylaw proposals that the group reached consensus on over the summer.

Article 1, a general bylaw proposal, would protect all existing short-term rentals (STRs), ban corporate ownership of new STRs, and for other new STRs, it would set a limit of one per person and a maximum of four changes of occupancy will be allowed in high season (July and August).

Article 2, a zoning bylaw amendment, would codify short-term rentals as an allowed use by right in all zoning districts on Nantucket, an effort to end the legal battles and questions over whether STRs are a permitted use in residential zoning districts.

The work group's original proposal to link the two short-term rental articles - meaning one could not be approved without the other - has been hotly debated. The Select Board voted to decouple or de-link the two articles, only to have the Finance Committee's motion reverse them and link the two bylaw proposals once again. The issue will be among the first things that gets decided at the Special Town Meeting, as the FinCom's final recommendation is expected to be challenged.

Here's what you need to know and some helpful links and opinions on what we'll be voting on this year.

Where: 10 Surfside Road, Nantucket High School auditorium

When: Tuesday, Nov. 7th, 5 p.m.

The final Special Town Meeting warrant with Finance Committee motions is available online in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. This marks the first time that the town has offered translations of the document in other languages:

The town has issued a set of frequently asked questions and answers regarding Articles 1 & 2 (Short-Term Rentals) and Article 10 (Nobadeer Athletic Complex).

Other helpful resources to prepare for Town Meeting
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