To the editor: I’m a washashore who’s been here for 40 years. Article 60 is very straightforward to me. It protects Nantucket year-round and seasonal residents’ ability to short-term rent their homes by amending our zoning in residential neighborhoods to continue this tradition.
If you live on your property for six months or more, you’ll have the ability to rent as much as you want.
If you spend time in your home, you’ll be able to short-term rent in proportion to the time you spend there and any long-term rentals (over 31 days).
Even if you bought an investment property, Article 60 will allow you to short-term rent in proportion to the time it’s rented for longer periods.
One argument I hear is to wait until the workgroup comes up with something. I serve on a lot of committees, and let me tell you, if we wait until the workgroup is done, we’ll all be old (some of us beneath the waves). Article 60 will give the workgroup the guidance it needs from voters.
We don’t have time to wait – our community needs to take action now.
Nantucket no longer has the teachers, nurses, and police officers to serve our community because investors and corporations have artificially raised home prices by turning homes into mini-hotels.
Every day, we inch closer to becoming a commuting workforce. Many who manage to stay on the Island are living in cramped conditions. We will continue to lose our teachers, firefighters, and others (and fail to attract new workers) because they have no prospect of housing. There are no year-round rentals or homes to buy, and we are losing our year-round community and neighborhoods.
The younger generation - including our children - don’t see a future on Nantucket.
I don’t want to see Nantucket become an enclave for the rich and famous as community members sell out homes to off-island entities. Article 60 is a positive step to slow this trend and provide protection for homeowners and neighborhoods while maintaining a strong tourism economy and our traditional vacation rentals.
It’s not beaches and sunsets that make Nantucket special - it’s the people. If we want a community, we have to start making choices with this goal in mind. Article 60 is a start. It’s a simple and common-sense step in the right direction.
I hope you’ll join me in voting YES on Article 60 at Saturday’s Town Meeting.
Dr. Tim Lepore