To the editor: I continue to follow the short-term rental (STR) conversation here in Nantucket. I have read the proposed articles that the STR Work Group has put forth for the voters to consider.
I am very surprised that there is still a proposal to authorize full-time STRs in residential neighborhoods across the island. This is a concept that was set to be voted down decisively last year when it was withdrawn by the enablers of the real estate lobby on the island.
When will we wake up and recognize that we are imperiling the beauty and culture of the island for short-term profit? There may still be a golden egg here but the goose is suffering and approaching life-support.
Housing for teachers, firefighters, hospital staff and skilled workers or investment properties for personal gain? It should be an easy choice but offshore money continues to lead to the wrong one. Adding affordable housing, certainly a critical priority, will not reverse or even arrest the tide of soaring home ownership cost and rental prices. We cannot build our way out of this problem.
Please show up to vote in November for the future of the island, by saying no to the work group's articles. After that, let’s come up with a solution that allows those who need to rent their properties to make ends meet without encouraging practices that exploit Nantucket for profit.