Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Cape Elizabeth in Maine to Vote on Rental Restrictions Soon

"Usually, a town might encourage a cottage industry. But when the industry in question is the unregulated rental of cottages - and a few mansions to boot - there's somewhat less enthusiasm for the entrepreneurial spirit."

Cape Elizabeth in Maine will vote soon on rules that will regulate an estimated 35 short term rental of homes in residential zones. Meetings of the town's Ordinance Committee have been consistently drawing crowds of about 30 people when they consider the topic of short term rentals.

Complains about noise and parking seem to dominate the discussion. The proposal that generates the most concern is one that says that houses could only be rented out for 2 weeks out of every month. Also under consideration are requirements that homes be checked out by code enforcement officers, and restrictions on the number of guests and parking.

Opponents of vacation rentals are supposedly collecting photographic evidence of problems, and making claims that weddings happen on a weekly basis at vacation rentals.

There doesn't seem to be much concern about property rights or awareness about the economic benefits of vacation rental home activity to the area.

~ Doug Coates

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