To the Editor,
I’ve been watching the Short-Term Rental Work Group meetings with disbelief.
I was originally hopeful this effort would yield meaningful results to move the Town forward on the issue of short-term rentals (STRs). I was very disappointed, and a little stunned, that I didn’t get to vote on the STR zoning articles at last year’s Town Meeting. Afterwards, I applied for an at-large seat on the STR Workgroup as a qualified candidate. I am a year-round resident who rents my home monthly every July, to people whom I carefully vet, however, I’d like the option to rent weekly if I needed to in the future. Article 60 allows me to do that.
Back to the Workgroup, this group and the “pre-workgroup workgroup” have been meeting for 9 months, spending big bucks, six figure bucks “our bucks” on off-island consultants, and they are no closer to a recommendation than when they started. Watching these meetings has become painful. I’m concerned that neither the Town nor the Workgroup seem to have any sense of urgency. Pending lawsuits and the Town’s inaction, are leaving Nantucket homeowners unprotected, while giving off-island LLC and corporate investors free rein in our neighborhoods.
This is why I signed Article 60 - because it protects Nantucket homeowners, not to mention our neighborhoods. Article 60 assures Nantucket homeowners that STRs in residential areas will have the ability to continue to rent their property, provided they live in it more than it is rented.
Please be aware of misinformation, confusing messaging, and scare tactics. Article 60 protects Nantucket homeowners; it does not protect off-island corporate investors. I urge voters to read the article for yourselves. It DOES NOT “ban” STRs at all – but it will restrict purely commercial STR businesses in our residential neighborhoods. That’s it, real simple, a no-brainer, and a good thing.
While we cannot bring Nantucket back to the simpler times that many of us remember, we can help stop the bleeding. Please join me by attending Town Meeting on May 6th and supporting a YES vote on Article 60.