CONWAY — Conway selectmen on Tuesday are scheduled to discuss presenting residents with short-term rental warrant articles to be voted on next April.
The board will meet at the new town hall at 23 Main St. in Conway at 4 p.m. The meeting is accessible via Zoom. Log-in details are posted to conwaynh.org. Meetings also are broadcast on Facebook live.
Near the top of the agenda is a "discussion of short term rental proposals."
There are perhaps 800 short-term rentals in Conway. Some say the rentals are good for the economy while others claim they are ruining their neighborhoods.
Last year, selectmen decided that short-term rentals were not permissible in the residential zone but held off enforcing that ban until new regulations could be put in place. An ad hoc committee was formed to come up with regulations that either the selectmen or the planning board can bring forward to the April 2021 town meeting.
Conway Village Fire Chief Steve Solomon led the committee, which also included rental abutters Ray Shakir, Kris Cluff and Tom Reed; rental operator Scott Kudrick; Realtor Greydon Turner; Selectman Carl Thibodeau; and Planning Board Selectmen’s representative Steve Porter. Town Manager Tom Holmes and Town Planner Tom Irving are non-voting members.
Solomon on Nov. 10 presented to selectmen a 16-page report, which was the culmination of 14 meetings from June to November.
Town Manager Tom Holmes said voters will likely be faced with several warrant articles next year.
"The goal of the STR committee was to deliver proposals to the selectmen for their consideration," said Holmes in an email Friday. "The selectmen can now look at each piece and agree, amend or reject it. They can decide whether or not to put forward the warrant articles, of which there may be five."
The article options include: Defining short-term rentals in the zoning ordinance; amending the table of permitted uses; granting selectmen authorization to license and regulate short-term rentals; establishing a trust fund from which to pay for regulation and enforcement through licensing fees and fines; and adopting a town noise ordinance.
The Conway Planning Board decided Nov. 12 to let selectmen be the ones to put an article regulating short-term rentals on the warrant, but they still want to review proposed regulations to see how the rentals would be managed by the town.
As part of their business Thursday night, the board unanimously adopted a definition of short-term rentals put forth by Irving to be given to selectmen for inclusion in a selectmen's warrant article:
“The rental of a dwelling unit for periods of less than 30 days rented or offered for rent for 15 or more days in a calendar year and where the dwelling unit is not associated with commercial activities such as a hotel, motel or bed-and-breakfast. This is a non-residential use. A qualified short-term rental must have a business license in good standing from the board of selectmen.”