This fall, voters in Portland, Maine, will consider an ordinance to further limit the number and types of short-term rentals in the city, which could significantly affect Peaks and other local islands. The ordinance would ban short-term rentals in houses and apartments that are not the primary residence of the owner or tenant, but permit them in two-unit buildings where the owner lives in the other apartment. The regulations would also reduce the cap on non-owner-occupied short-term rentals from 400 on the mainland to 250, or to 1 percent of all rental units citywide, including on the islands. The Democratic Socialists of America said the intent is to boost affordable housing, with expectations that the proposal will help open up more units for rent in the long run. Island residents are concerned that the ordinance would alter the local culture and force out middle-class and longtime homeowners. Peaks Island real estate agent Ralph Ashmore is worried of generational homes on the island being sold to affluent investors, and of fallout on the broader island community, including those who make their living cleaning and repairing short-term rentals. Supporters like retired nurse and Peaks Island resident Timmi Sellers think the ordinance will help create more long-term housing and curb short-term rentals that can be disruptive to residents.
Portland Press Herald (08/24/22) Rachel Ohm