KEARSARGE — Anti-Airbnb activist Dan Notinmybackyard is blaming the COVID-19 pandemic on short-term renters.
Notinmybackyard (nicknamed Old NIMBY by local residents), has been leading the charge to regulate short-term rentals in the idyllic precinct of Kearsarge.
NIMBY said he knew there was more to short-term rental problems than noisy neighbors and fireworks.
“I couldn’t say it out loud before the pandemic hit,” said NIMBY, “but now we are aware that the people who rent these short-term rentals — you know, they bring in more than just six-packs and cheap cuts of steak.”
Kearsarge residents were denied the chance to vote on ordinances regulating short-term rentals when its the precinct's annual meeting in March was postponed.
Kearsarge ommissioners, however, issued a stopgap bylaw requiring absentee owners to erect signs inviting abutters to report excess noise and unruly tenants — basically ratting out their greedy neighbors.
While NIMBY acknowledges that the cornavirus is having devastating effects on people and the economy, he said one sliver of a silver lining is that the pandemic has slowed the use of short-term rentals.
“I didn’t think my prayers would be answered,” said NIMBY, who then confessed that he had put "a curse pestilence" on the renters.
"I guess it worked.”