Dave Iverson Resignation Letter From STR Work Group

Dave Iverson •

To the editor (originally sent to Select Board Chair Dawn Hill Holdgate):

As of last Wednesday’s Select Board meeting, the work of the Short Term Rental Work Group is now complete. We spent countless hours researching examples of short-term rental regulations, talking to other communities, defining policy goals, exploring and assessing possible policy levers to reach those goals, consulting with Town Counsel John Giorgio and zoning consultant Judith Barrett, and analyzing data. After nine months of work, we reached consensus (7 of 9 members) on a package of regulations that include both general bylaws and zoning bylaws.

With our work complete, I now wish to tender my resignation from the group so I may focus my efforts on education and advocacy for the package of regulations.

As you will recall, the Town formed our Work Group specifically to represent many diverse viewpoints about STRs, a complex and highly controversial issue. We were asked to find common ground, have civil and thoughtful discussions, negotiate where necessary and reach agreement on a series of reasonable, effective regulations. Against long odds, our group has managed to accomplish this. We are proud of the package we created, and we still hope that our articles will be allowed to move forward to the Special Town Meeting in November.

It was with great surprise, at last night’s Select Board meeting, to find that two members of the Select Board seemed unable to accept the careful and judicious way we worked to balance the many competing concerns and forces at play. For instance, property rights vs the integrity of neighborhoods, the tradition of home renting on Nantucket vs the churn of rental turnovers.

Those two members seemed poised to throw away months of our work without giving serious consideration to the approach we took. One member said we were doing nothing to regulate STRS, despite provisions such as one STR license per owner and no corporate ownership moving forward. The other Select Board member suggested he’d like to put up a competing article of his own. Both seemed fixated on the idea of accessory zoning—an issue that Giorgio and Barrett have repeatedly warned us against.

Their treatment of us expressed disrespect and seemed dismissive of our efforts.

We’ve spent months on these issues and feel confident of our decisions, in large part because of the way our differing views have found common ground. It is perplexing to us that the individual views of two Select Board members would overrule our work.

I am proud to have served on this Work Group, and look forward to continuing advocacy.


David Iverson

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