To the Editor,
In 1982, the Town Meeting overwhelmingly supported the Town in banning timeshares and time interval interests in Nantucket's residential neighborhoods. Timeshares were the new trend that the Town determined was a "commercial use similar to hotels or guest houses."
Forty years later, a new fractional ownership company called Pacaso is challenging Nantucket's bylaw prohibiting timeshares. Pacaso, started in 2020 by a Zillow co-founder, raised $125 million to convert homes into timeshares in dozens of resort communities across the country. Last year, Pacaso bought its first property on Nantucket - a newly-built pool compound on Meadow Lane, a residential neighborhood on the edge of Town. Pacaso is selling 1/8th membership interests in the LLC that it created that actually owns the property. Members in the LLC get a limited number of “stays” at the property that are booked through Pacaso’s scheduling app and Pacaso manages the property, including furnishing and cleaning.
Thankfully, the Zoning Enforcement Officer agreed with a request to enforce local zoning laws and issued a cease and desist order on the timeshare. The story doesn't end here, and it's not the first time that Pacaso has purchased a property in a community with a timeshare prohibition. Pacaso won't go away easily and has appealed the Town's decision to the Zoning Board of Appeals (the hearing is on February 9th).
Nantucket's residents should take notice - Pacaso or others will keep pushing. With the price of vacation properties so high, it's become alluring to sell fractions or timeshares, and there's a big market to sell vacation properties. If you want to see what timeshares like Pacaso's have done elsewhere, check out this website devoted to stopping Pacaso from invading residential neighborhoods (stoppacasonow.com).
We want to express our neighborhood's strong support for the Town in its efforts to enforce local residential zoning laws that protect our Island community and way of life.
Peter & Princess Devlin (7 Meadow Lane)
Lynn & Fred Kudish (13 Meadow Lane)
Bob Giese (5 Meadow Lane)
David Leiter (12 Meadow Lane)
Josette & Dan Ramirez (11 Meadow Lane)