Hull: Officials propose zoning change for residential rentals

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Hull’s Board of Selectmen, Planning Board and Board of Health met at the high school Tuesday night, to go over a selectmen’s proposal to amend the zoning by-law regulating summer and residential rental properties in the seaside community.

About 40 residents got a first look at the zoning proposal in which housing rentals of seven days or more would be permitted in all zoning districts.

Renters would also need a certificate of occupancy from the board of health, which could be suspended or revoked by the board for a list of violations from noise to criminal activity to traffic issues.

A few neighbors complained that rentals near Beach Avenue and Manomet Avenue were disruptive due to late night, animal house type frat parties last summer. Hull’s building commissioner then issued an order to stop rentals and said it wasn’t allowed in residential areas.

One of those neighbors, Debra Gladstone, isn’t too pleased with the selectmen’s zoning proposal.

“In reading the proposals, one can only find protective laws for those property owners wishing to rent out weekly, at the expense of existing residents. The emphasis is definitely put on promoting a tourist destination. The rights of the existing residential owners are barely addressed. There is nothing included in the wording that would ward off the deleterious affect mentioned. I’d like to see the language in this document that protects us, the neighbors, of these rental properties.”

However, a property owner who rents his place in the summer and supports the proposed by-law spoke in favor of the amendments.

“From our perspective, to take away the right to rent it for short term, for a week at a time – and we never rent anything less than a week – I think is unfair. As everybody knows, it’s been going on for hundreds of years in all the seaside communities in Massachusetts. While I obviously sympathize with their problem – obviously you don’t want a frat party next door to your house – I think that is a police problem. It’s also a problem with the people that are doing the renting, that they’re not screening who their renting to,” the rental owner said.

The planning board will hold another public meeting on residential rental issue tonight at 7 at the high school.

About John Penny