The final draft of the legislation should be available on the city website sometime tomorrow, but in the meantime, here is some information about what's in the law, gleaned from the last Legal Committee meeting, which took place on May 27.
- Any building with more than three units used for short-term rental cannot simply register with the code enforcement office. The owner must get a conditional use permit from the Planning Board.
- A building used for short-term rental must be occupied by the owner and be the owner's primary resident.
- Proprietors of short-term rentals may own one building in addition to the one occupied by the owner, but it must be immediately adjacent to the building owned and occupied by that owner.
- Buildings used for short-term rentals cannot be owned by an LLC or a corporation.
- Someone who rents a property cannot use a part of that property for short-term rental. Only the owner of a building can operate an "Airbnb."
- Only 50 percent of a building can be used for short-term rental. For every short-term rental unit in a building, there must be a long-term rental unit in that building.
At some point, Jeff Baker, counsel to the Council, suggested there be a variance provision, "if [owners] can show cause of unnecessary hardship." He outlined this scenario: "Someone bought a rundown house in Hudson, invested in improving it, but cannot make back the investment if the ability to use it as a short-term rental is prohibited." Wolff commented that this was "based on the notion that a profit is a God-given right." Baker responded, "This is a regulatory taking. There must be a way for them to mitigate the loss."
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