Vote NO on Article 59

The NLWC has observed that the rise of the commercial short-term rental (STR)
industry contributes to and incentivizes an intense (re)development of properties on
Nantucket designed to deliver the highest rate of return. This is often accomplished by
maximizing properties with buildings, bedrooms and amenities intended to meet
the expectations of prospective occupants. This decreases open space and habitat in
neighborhoods, escalates the intensity of use, and puts increasing pressure on
the island’s resources jeopardizing the health of our drinking water, ponds and
harbors, and our shared infrastructure such as solid waste and storm-water
management, water and sewer.

Article 59 is identical to the previously-defeated Article 42 at the 2022 ATM and Article
2 at the 2023 STM. This article MUST BE DEFEATED because it would legalize
unlimited commercial STRs as a primary use for houses in all our residential districts
across the island. If this right is granted under zoning it cannot be taken away and
could open up the floodgates for STR investment. Allowing commercial STRs in
residential districts would have long-term adverse, and potentially irreversible
impacts on our environment and the health of our community. Moreover, recent
court rulings have confirmed that STRs are a commercial use that is not legal in
residential districts.

NLWC supports allowing STRs as an accessory use in residential districts protecting
residents’ ability to rent their homes so long as they are using it primarily as a
residence. NLWC would support balanced By-Law proposals that reasonably limit
STRs to Nantucket residents, ensure effective regulation by our Town government,
and are consistent with our local traditions. NLWC opposes STRs for commercial or
investment purposes.

The commercial short-term rental industry, if unchecked, threatens to irreparably
harm our Island’s environment and therefore our community’s vitality, health and
quality of life. Obviously, this is an outcome that we all want to prevent.

If maintaining a healthy environment, community and quality of life on Nantucket is
important to you, please attend Town Meeting and vote a resounding NO on Article