To the editor:
Regarding the ongoing discussion of STRs (short-term rentals). It’s time for the 80 percent of Nantucketers to take a “Time In”. To get involved.
In my opinion, the great middle, centrist voice of Nantucket needs to be heard. The extreme viewpoints of this issue are being allowed to drive the conversation. Ten percent on one side, 10 percent on the other. Kind of like how the national conversation is being conducted these days.
I believe that there is a consensus that 80 percent (or more) of Nantucketers will come together and support. I believe that 80 percent (or more) of Nantucketers want to protect the historic practice of renting properties, owned by PEOPLE, or trusts representing PEOPLE, to vacationers.
I believe that 80 percent (or more) of Nantucketers don’t want residential neighborhoods to become overrun with vacation rental properties owned by corporate entities with no personal connection to the island, and, so, no accountability.
I’m sorry to say that I have no hope that the current process will result in a policy that will address the issue in a way that most Nantucketers would support. Having participated in the public session with the STR workgroup last week, I can tell you that the folks involved in the process are talking past each other, rather than with each other. They have staked out positions and have no interest in hearing other points of view. The organizations representing each extreme position on the issue were disparaged and insulted.
Please, fellow citizens. There is a consensus to be reached, if only the great center of Nantucket citizens make their voices heard.
NO ONE (are you listening, “anti-STR” folks?) wants to see short-term rentals eliminated or regulated out of existence. That would be foolish and deadly to our economy.
NO ONE (are you listening, “pro-STR folks”?) wants to see residential neighborhoods turned into rows of hotels. That would be foolish and deadly to our economy. And our sense of place.
I’m not sure how, but the reasonable, rational voices of the 80 percent need to be heard and respected. Let your representatives know that there is a simple, middle-of-the-road solution that will get huge support, if only folks start talking WITH each other, and not PAST each other.
It’s time for a “Time In”, not a “Time Out”.