The planning board continued to gather input from the public at their meeting Wednesday night, regarding the board of selectmen’s proposal to amend the town’s zoning by-law for residential rentals.
The draft proposal calls for homeowners renting properties to procure a certificate of occupancy issued by the board of health. Various violations would either be subject to fines or revocation or suspension of the certificate.
The building commissioner has declared that residential rentals, which have been happening for over 100 years, violate Hull’s zoning by-laws. This occurred after a few neighbors complained about rowdy, frat style parties at two rentals last summer.
Planning board members shared lots of suggestions on how to tweak the draft article. But long-time board member Steven Flynn, said he prefers to keep it simple.
“Just before we over think it – you know – how many people are going to be in the house and what’s your relation to this and you know – Uncle Fester’s over here and Uncle Charlie – sometimes, keep it simple might be the way to go before we get overblown. “
“Once, when we were doing a hotel, one of the board members wanted to have a wind meter up on the roof to prohibit people from going up there when wind gusts were over such and such – I said, ‘I’ll pay $5.oo to see somebody go up and get blown off!’” Flynn said.
Paul Schneider rents out his home on the same street where neighbors complained about the two rowdy rentals and he said these are isolated incidences.
“This has been blown out of proportion. The people who have rallied their troops to stop these people from renting the house across the street from us and another house right behind that, have really exaggerated, in my opinion, or at least led the town to believe, that this is a constant problem. They’ve used the term ‘fraternity house’, saying frat parties are going on all the time and only twice in the three years since we’ve been there has there a problem on a weekend. We called the owners and they came down and dealt with it,” Schneider explained.
The planning board will meet next Wednesday night to continue their discussion on the proposal.