To the Editor,
I'm going to Town Meeting for the first time in a long time because I want to vote yes on Article 60.
One of the arguments I've heard is that maybe we should wait to see what the workgroup comes up with. I think waiting is a mistake for two reasons.
First, we have a real problem because STRs are illegal in residential areas under Nantucket's current zoning - and everyone seems to agree that allowing unlimited STRs in neighborhoods is a terrible idea - yet there is no agreement from the workgroup that it should bring a zoning article at a future Town Meeting, let alone one that the voters can support.
Second and more importantly, there is disagreement among workgroup members on whether or not to protect all year-round resident’s ability to STR the home where they live. You can watch the March 28 meeting to see what I’m referring to.
Year-round residents renting the home where they live are certainly not the problem. Isn't this part of the tradition we must protect? Renting (short or long-term) can help a family finally buy a home or pay for college. It's hard enough to live and work here. Why would the workgroup want to make it harder?
Islanders should strongly consider voting yes on Article 60 because it guarantees our ability to rent our homes short-term. Article 60 would offer every homeowner a pathway to STR but would not leave commercial interests unrestricted access to operate STRs in our neighborhoods.
I hope to see you at Town Meeting and that you'll vote yes on 60. I know many of you are getting into another busy season - this is a few hours on a Saturday that will help protect our community and our Island.