To the editor: The time for decisions regarding the short-term rental (STR) articles at Special Town Meeting has arrived and it’s now clear to me what must happen. While the STRWG strived to create consensus recommendations, the conflicting goals of participants created an outcome that is unacceptable.
Article 1 is loaded with red tape. It should be defeated, including the FinCom version. Enforcement is imposed upon the wrong department (BOH) without the necessary tools and technology to execute the provisions in the article. Further, the article fails to limit the continued creation of STRs, which are already occurring on something approaching industrial scale all across the island.
Article 2 is even more onerous; if enacted it would grant rights that cannot be taken away. Simply adding STRs as an allowed use island-wide is clearly a “let it rain” approach. It would inflict permanent damage and all but guarantee the expansion and creep of full-time STRs. That’s insane and Article 2 should be defeated. We already have a total of 2,400 STRs and somewhere approximating 500 of them are full-time.
Let the parties propose their own solutions at the next meeting and let the island decide where it stands. That is, if the dark money being spent by anonymous, third-party corporations with a vested interest in continued development can somehow be silenced.
So, voters, please send both these articles packing. Adopting bad law is not the way.
45 Goldfinch Drive