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Chatham Town Board rejects STR regulations

Sep 28, 2020 6:00 am
Emilia Teasdale is reporting for The Columbia Paper the Chatham Town Board September 17, rejected the town's proposed short-term rental regulations on a vote of 3 to 2. Board member Vance Pitkin voted "no" and read a statement saying he believes in protecting residents’ property rights. He said the majority of the town — close to 90 percent by his calculation — are without an opinion about regulations. He said overwhelmingly residents voted to protect property rights in the last election. “I promised these voters I would do everything I could to protect their rights and that is why I’m voting no on this proposed law,” Pitkin said during the vote. Supervisor Donal Collins and board member Abi Mesick both voted in favor of the regulations, while members John Wapner and Kevin Weldon voted "no." Wapner said he was voting "no" for several reasons, saying he felt it was telling the public they were not being listened to by the board. He called the proposed law “poorly crafted.” Weldon said that last year, when the previous board proposed an updated zoning law that included short-term rental regulations, that proposal was criticized for preceding an update of the town’s Comprehensive Plan. Mesick, who co-chairs the town’s Comprehensive Plan Update Review Committee, said last year the community was asking for “more common sense, simple laws.” She said a local law regulating a use in the town is totally reasonable. Collins said he supported the proposed law because it regulated a rental use that he felt was not any more intense than a long-term rental or a family living in a house full-time. The board held a public hearing on the most recent version of the STR regulations in early September, when several residents asked about having a residency requirement included in the law. Read the full story in The Columbia Paper.