CONWAY — A public input session regarding regulation of short-term rentals in the Kearsarge Lighting Precinct will be held Monday evening.
The Kearsarge Lighting Precinct Zoning Review Committee meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at the North Conway Water Precinct building at 104 Sawmill Lane.
The committee consists of Josh Brustin, Nancy Clark, Rick Jenkinson, Chris Meier and Karen Umberger.
Short-term rentals in the precinct have been an issue since last year. Residents have complained that the Andrews and Gleason properties, which are used as short-term rentals, were like “fraternity houses” with noise and traffic issues.
Abutters shared with commissioners a section of the town zoning ordinance that says that “all residential properties that offer sleeping accommodations to transient or permanent guests shall be owner occupied and operated.”
Commissioners had sent Gleason and the Andrewses violation notices that were appealed to the Conway Zoning Board of Adjustment, which upheld the notices. The property owners then went to Carroll County Superior Court. The Andrews and Gleason cases were consolidated and are still pending.
Plaintiffs’ attorney, John Cronin of Cronin, Bisson, & Zalinsky of Manchester, told this year's annual meeting in March, “The Gleasons take great pride in the property that they own; they did a lot of work to it since they purchased it, they police it. The Andrews feel the same way.”
Cronin said, “This issue going back to 1959 has rarely if ever been enforced. Many of you here know residents of the town that rent their properties. I believe there are relatives of the commissioners that rent their properties, and there have been no violations lodged against them.
“We have some out-of-state owners who are the only ones selected in this process."
The Review Committee has been looking at changing the precinct ordinance and has identified several options:
• No change to the zoning ordinance.
• Owner-occupied short-term rentals, non-owner occupied long-term leases.
• Non-owner-occupied long-term rentals allowed; short-term rentals allowed only in condos/townhouses/approved timeshares.
• Short-term rentals only in condos, ski clubs, outing clubs.
• Permitted non-owner-occupied short-term rentals allowed in single homes, condos, etc.
The committee wants the public's feedback on the various options. The options will be described at length in a handout that will be provided at the meeting.
The committee will meet again Dec. 3 to decide which option they would like to present to the commissioners who will decide what to do on Dec. 4. If the commissioners decide to change the ordinance, a proposal would be placed before district voters on March 19.
"If on Dec. 4, they decide to do nothing, then the public has the right to petition an article on zoning," added Umberger.