Nantucket Residents Pass on More Stringent Regulation of Short-Term Rentals

A recent Nantucket Town Meeting resolved a long-simmering controversy regarding short-term rentals.

June 10, 2021, 6:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Bob. P.B. / Flickr

"Nantucket voters on Saturday overwhelmingly rejected proposed restrictions on short-term vacation rentals," reports Joshua Balling.

The short-term rental restrictions provoked serious controversy in the coastal community, as detailed in a Boston Globe article by Tim Logan published in the days leading up to the deciding Town Meeting.

The Town Meeting spanned eight hours, with the numbers dwindling from 900 in attendance at the beginning to 150 at the end, according to Balling. The entire Town Meeting is available to watch (in my viewing, after an advertisement for short-term rental company VRBO) on YouTube.

The controversial amendment, proposed by ACK*Now, "would have established a local rental registry, and set strict limits on the number of days a home could be rented each year – 45 –  require minimum stays and restrict the number of people per bedroom and vehicles per property," explains Balling.

The Town Meeting was a busy one—in addition to the vote on short-term rentals, residents also decided against a proposal that would have allotted 25 percent of the $20 million the city budgets for its Land Bank on other affordable housing initiatives. Residents also prohibited pools on lots of less than 7,500 square feet in a number of zoning districts outside the town's downtown and banned gas-powered leaf blowers.

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