Members of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts' six town planning boards met virtually to address action on short-term rentals. Tisbury Planning Board Chair Ben Robinson cited worsening housing insecurity due to "a short-term rental industry that is not just made up of the locals that have traditionally rented out homes in the summer, but is more and more becoming investment groups, larger corporations." Other participants said home rentals are vital for supplementing many residents' income, and they also provide rooms, in lieu of big hotels, that support the island's tourist economy. Laura Silber on the West Tisbury Planning Board said eliminating those rooms is not intended. "It's a question of how to cap, or control, or manage, the amount that we have, so that the ratio of year-round homes — or year-round residents — to seasonal residents is a functional ratio, because right now, our ratio is wildly off," she explained. Robinson asked the planning boards to develop questions by mid-December that could be used to commission an island-wide study.
Cape and Islands (11/10/22) Jennette Barnes