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Old 09-14-2023, 11:58 AM   #1
fatlazyless
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Exclamation Short Term Rentals: Thurs, Sept 14, 7-pm public hearing, Meredith Community Cntr

Should you have any interest to do with short term rentals in Meredith, suggest you read the lengthy letter to the editor in the Sept 14, Laconia Daily Sun, page 10 written by Frank Marino from Meredith.

Meredith Short Term Rentals hearing: Thurs, Sept 14, 7-pm, Meredith Community Center

If you are opposed to Short Term Rentals in Meredith then it would probably be good for you to attend the hearing and get a copy of the Sept 14, Laconia Daily Sun to read all about it. .....
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Old 09-19-2023, 10:21 PM   #2
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Post One Word Of Caution

The only thing I will say about this is I hope the folks in Merdith won't make the same mistakes that were made in Conway which originally banned them outright. They ended up in front of the NH Supreme Court. Now Conway is rethinking its position and is offering up regulations for STRs. Here's an article from the Conway Daily Sun covering their efforts:

https://www.conwaydailysun.com/news/...5087820a2.html

Any ban would have to be very specific so as not to accidentally include long-standing summer rentals that have been taking place for decades.

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Old 09-20-2023, 10:54 AM   #3
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Those could just be ''grandfathered'' by historic precedent.
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Old 09-20-2023, 05:36 PM   #4
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The only thing I will say about this is I hope the folks in Wolfeboro won't make the same mistakes that were made in Conway which originally banned them outright. They ended up in front of the NH Supreme Court. Now Conway is rethinking its position and is offering up regulations for STRs. Here's an article from the Conway Daily Sun covering their efforts:

https://www.conwaydailysun.com/news/...5087820a2.html

Any ban would have to be very specific so as not to accidentally include long-standing summer rentals that have been taking place for decades.
I have not heard anyone talking about a short term rental ban in Wolfeboro except those who want to scare people from voting for some method of regulation.
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Old 09-20-2023, 06:00 PM   #5
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Short term rental == 1 week minimum seems reasonable?
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Old 09-20-2023, 10:25 PM   #6
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Short term rental == 1 week minimum seems reasonable?
Maximum rental terms should likely be set. Some towns define what constitutes a short term rental. Gilford did that with their zoning ordinance which defines maximum rental periods to a transient resident in order for a dwelling to be considered a short term rental. They did not set minimums. (It went into effect on July 1 but is allowing a 'grace period' for existing commercial STRs to meet the requirements laid out by their ordinance. New ones must meet the requirements before they can offer their properties as STRs.)

Minimums might be difficult to set by a town, but not impossible. I know some HOAs have set minimum terms of a week. Others have banned STRs outright. Yet others have set no limits.

Should towns define the difference between commercial STRs - those owned and rented solely as a source of income and not used by the owners as their own residence? Should someone renting a room be required to meet the same requirements as someone renting out their STR property? What about people renting out their personal home for only a few weeks out of the year, be it their full time residence or their seasonal residence?

Lots of questions to be asked and answered.
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Old 09-21-2023, 11:59 AM   #7
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There are other complications--IRS definitions on investment properties limit the amount of personal use. NNH requires room and meal taxes if rented less than six months, banks don't like to finance properties in complexes that are too high an investor ratio... Lots of issues that vary from place to place.
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Old 09-21-2023, 01:56 PM   #8
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There are other complications--IRS definitions on investment properties limit the amount of personal use. NNH requires room and meal taxes if rented less than six months, banks don't like to finance properties in complexes that are too high an investor ratio... Lots of issues that vary from place to place.
Also, insurance companies need to know if it's owner occupied or a rental, coverage will be different.
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Old 09-21-2023, 03:09 PM   #9
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The issues Laconia has faced with their STR policy is itís lack of teeth. Police are unable to enforce guidelines. Noice and parking are the two largest issues


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Old 09-21-2023, 06:03 PM   #10
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Short term rental == 1 week minimum seems reasonable?
Allot to consider for sure. My thought was starting at a 1 week minimum (no thoughts on the maximum rental period from me) would assure at least some level of commitment from the proposed renter.
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Old 09-21-2023, 06:58 PM   #11
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Maximum rental terms should likely be set. Some towns define what constitutes a short term rental. Gilford did that with their zoning ordinance which defines maximum rental periods to a transient resident in order for a dwelling to be considered a short term rental. They did not set minimums. (It went into effect on July 1 but is allowing a 'grace period' for existing commercial STRs to meet the requirements laid out by their ordinance. New ones must meet the requirements before they can offer their properties as STRs.)

Minimums might be difficult to set by a town, but not impossible. I know some HOAs have set minimum terms of a week. Others have banned STRs outright. Yet others have set no limits.

Should towns define the difference between commercial STRs - those owned and rented solely as a source of income and not used by the owners as their own residence? Should someone renting a room be required to meet the same requirements as someone renting out their STR property? What about people renting out their personal home for only a few weeks out of the year, be it their full time residence or their seasonal residence?

Lots of questions to be asked and answered.
Many of the parameters you mentioned can be set in the zoning language. There is lots of flexibility.
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Old 09-21-2023, 07:42 PM   #12
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Many of the parameters you mentioned can be set in the zoning language. There is lots of flexibility.
Indeed.

From my experience in Gilford, it took 3 years to craft a zoning ordinance that was acceptable to the voters in town. It was aimed primarily at the commercial operators since they were the ones people were having the most problems with. It required a change to the town's noise ordinance because at the time an "unamplified human voice" was not considered noise...unless you have a bunch of drunken people being loud and obnoxious at 3AM. Sounds pretty loud then.

The town changed the noise ordinance to redefine noise, eliminating the "unamplified human voice" exception and giving the local gendarmes the ability to quiet things down up to including arresting offenders after 11pm, if memory serves regarding the cut-off time.

The commercial STRs require a Conditional Use Permit from the Planning Board. One of the problems the town had with some of the STRs was no one knew who actually owned them. Because of that one of the requirements for the permits was an emergency contact within a 1 hour drive of the property to handle emergencies should something occur if the owner(s) were 'from away'. It also allowed the town to address any chronic problems with the rental property or the folks renting it. The town also has the power to suspend or revoke the permits which then means the owners can't rent out their STR.

The town's zoning ordinance has some flexibility into granting permits, but has clearly defined conditions under which permits can be suspended or revoked.

However, Gilford's circumstances are somewhat different than Meredith's and any solution Meredith creates needs to address the unique conditions that exist there versus any of the other towns. I would expect there would be some similarities if Meredith goes along the same path as Gilford, but they won't be identical by any means.
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Old 09-21-2023, 08:15 PM   #13
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They may be.

Already written by other towns/Laconia around a popular lake is likely just to be verbatim at the start. They may adapt after that... but it is usually just easier to start with existing template.

Meredith's big difference is the commercial being so compact and close to the lake... while having a pinch point for Holderness and Moultonborough.

Anything with I-93 access around any of the lakes is developing faster than the municipalities are used to responding.
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Old 09-22-2023, 01:40 PM   #14
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The 'explosive' growth of STRs in Gilford caught everyone off guard. At first it was thought we didn't need to address the issue right away...and then it became a problem in a number of neighborhoods.

While most of the commercial STRs are near the lake, basically along the NH Route 11 and Route 11B corridors between Alton and Laconia, the rest are scattered all over town. I think Gunstock likely has something to do with that.

Gilford looked at a number of other towns and cities inside and outside of New Hampshire to see how they handled it. Some were draconian and all encompassing (like North Conway's). Others addressed things like trash and parking, but not much else. Some restricted them to certain zones. Some banned them outright (like Conway, just to name one).

I have no doubt Meredith will work its way through this and find something that works for it. But I think it will take time and more meetings like this one to hash things out.

Last edited by Weekend Pundit; 09-22-2023 at 01:40 PM. Reason: Fix typo.
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Old 09-22-2023, 05:53 PM   #15
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When youíre renting for just a few days, thatís where short term rentals obviously shine. Why spend a few hundred dollars per night at a local hotel or resort when you can do the same with your own four walls and all the amenities of home. Downside is that too many change the character of a neighborhood.
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Old 09-22-2023, 08:05 PM   #16
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Time is the one thing that none of these towns have.
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Old 09-22-2023, 08:58 PM   #17
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Time is the one thing that none of these towns have.
Not sure what you mean. Sort of a cryptic post.
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Old 09-23-2023, 03:11 PM   #18
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Not sure what you mean. Sort of a cryptic post.
Because it takes a long time to make and approve regulations, and the short term rental wave has already caused issues that are difficult to reverse
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Old 09-23-2023, 04:16 PM   #19
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Because it takes a long time to make and approve regulations, and the short term rental wave has already caused issues that are difficult to reverse
If they are handled via zoning ordinances then it will require a vote at town meeting to approve those changes. So the earliest any changes could be made via that route is March 2024.

If Meredith is 'starting from scratch' it might take more than just the six-and-a-half months between now and Town Meeting. Actually the proposed changes would need to be ready by February, at least in the case of Meredith. (Is Meredith an SB2 town? If so, then the proposed changes would need to be finalized by some time around late January.)

If they are able to crib from other towns they might be able to get something put together in time for Town Meeting.

I know it took Gilford 3 years and a number of public hearings to get something acceptable to the voters. But then we did start from scratch and the only guidance we really had was more in the form of "What NOT to do". Hopefully Meredith will be able to wade through everything in a lot less time than it took Gilford and get something that works well for the town in a much shorter time.

Last edited by Weekend Pundit; 09-23-2023 at 04:18 PM. Reason: Hit publish button by accident with last sentence half finished!
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Old 09-23-2023, 04:23 PM   #20
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Not only does it take time to enact regulations... the market changes.
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Old 09-27-2023, 02:09 PM   #21
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Default Short Term Rentals

Living next to a STR is very unsettling to say the least. You have no idea who is living next to you and virtual vetting is no way to ensure the safety of your neighbors or your property. While most people are very nice, others are not so nice.
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Old 09-27-2023, 06:59 PM   #22
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Living next to a STR is very unsettling to say the least. You have no idea who is living next to you and virtual vetting is no way to ensure the safety of your neighbors or your property. While most people are very nice, others are not so nice.
We had one across the street from us during the pandemic, lots of late-night partying in a normally very quiet neighborhood!
Thankfully the property increased in value so much in one year the investors sold it for a 250K profit with no improvements. Very nice neighbors now, and they are doing a complete remodel, so I guess they plan to stay.
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Old 09-29-2023, 03:11 PM   #23
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Living next to a STR is very unsettling to say the least. You have no idea who is living next to you and virtual vetting is no way to ensure the safety of your neighbors or your property. While most people are very nice, others are not so nice.
One of my co-workers who also lived in my neighborhood had three AirBnBs on his street - two across the street and one next door. All three were used more like party houses, many times with 20+ people partying to all hours (and sleeping there as well). At the time our noise ordinance didn't have much in the way of teeth and all the police could do is ask the partyers to quiet down which sometimes drove them to become even noisier.

The town really had little recourse because we had little in the way of town or zoning ordinances to cover such problems. That's why the Gilford changed some existing town ordinances and created its STR ordinance to give the town the ability to deal with chronic problems and unresponsive owners. They also were crafted to require safety inspections - we used the "STRs are actually distributed hotels" argument to require such inspections and to limit occupancy. (Some of this came from the NH Supreme Court case of Working Stiffs LLC v Portsmouth where Portsmouth was regulating STRs just like hotels since they defined them as "distributed hotels".

It took us almost 3 years but it was worth every moment to get something that was palatable to everyone...for the most part.

Last edited by Weekend Pundit; 09-29-2023 at 03:12 PM. Reason: Fix typo.
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