Article 59 Is Way Too Extreme And Would Turn Nantucket Over To The Highest Bidders

Bruce Miller •

To The editor: Short-term rentals (STRs) are clearly an important part of our tourist economy but to assert that they have had no detrimental impact on the island you have to have your head deeply buried in the sand, or be very disingenuous.

Everyone knows that we have a long tradition of renting our homes and cottages to summer visitors, but isn’t jamming eight-bedroom compounds into small lots in year-around neighborhoods a fairly recent development?

Article 59 proponents seem desperate to scare us into making a bad decision. What’s the hurry? Nothing we do, or don’t do, is going to have any practical impact on the upcoming season and the Select Board is already planning a Special Town Meeting for the fall when we will get another bite at the apple.

Hopefully by then (maybe even by Tuesday night) we will have greater clarity regarding the ramifications of the Ward case. But in the meantime, what we do know clearly suggests that by any reasonable interpretation of “primary use,” year-round homeowners will be allowed to STR in any manner that they choose. And seasonal homeowners will have similar latitude provided that they occupy their home for more days than they STR.

There will be some devilish details regarding how to fairly limit the many STRs not falling into either of the above categories. But many other resort communities have successfully implemented regulations to sensibly restrict the proliferation of STRs.

Article 59 is way too extreme and its passage would turn the island over to the highest bidders. Please take a deep breath and vote 59 down. Then, let’s try again in the fall. Who knows? The ZBA may be able to provide some useful guidance in the meantime when it addresses the remand from Judge Vhay’s decision.

Bruce Miller

Loading Ad
Loading Ad
Loading Ad

Current Opinion