Debate Continues On Short-Term Rental Citizen Petition

Robert Vidoni •

To the editor:

ACK-Now made broad criticisms of my analysis of Emily Kilvert’s Citizen’s Warrant Article 60 (formerly article 13).

For the benefit of all readers here is the wording from Ms. Kilvert:

“In residential districts, Short-term Rentals are permitted on Owner Occupied properties. For purposes of this section 139, the duration of Owner Occupied shall be at least six months in a calendar year.”

Does this mean a year-round resident who owns a property purchased as a source of income for retirement, or to help aging parents stay in their home, but do not personally live in the property more than 6 months per year, they lose their legal right to rent that property as a short-term rental (STR)?

If a family takes care of their grandparents home, which the grandparents can no longer live in, will the family be forced to give up the income from STRs which they use to keep the property in the family?

Does this mean a family who inherited a non-winterized cottage, using the rental income to keep the cottage for future generations or care for parents, but they are unable to live in the non-winterized cottage more than six months a year, they will be prohibited from offering STRs so risk losing the home?

Article 60 continues:

“For non-Owner-Occupied properties in residential districts, a Short-term Rental shall be considered a permitted accessory use provided (1) the primary and secondary dwelling if applicable, are each used for long-term residential use more than short-term rental use;.”

“All other STRs in residential districts are prohibited.”

Where is long-term residential use defined? Does this mean a seasonal homeowner must live in BOTH the main house AND cottage for longer than they rent short-term? If they do not, does that mean they are prohibited from doing STR’s in both dwellings?

Help us understand how Kilvert’s Citizens Article 60 would protect the property rights of “...the vast majority...” of homeowners who rent their family homes as vacation rentals.

Because the reading of the words written by Emily Kilvert, as reprinted above, lead many laymen and lawyers to believe the opposite, that the majority will lose their property rights, the majority will continue to live in fear of lawsuits, and the majority of island businesses dependent on vacationing families will suffer.

Robert Vidoni

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