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Short-term rentals in North Adams

A much-debated proposal on short-term rentals in North Adams has been sent back to the city for changes

NORTH ADAMS — The proposal on short-term rentals is going back to the city for changes.

Tasked with reviewing the proposal, the City Council’s General Government committee decided Monday night to send the proposal back to the mayor’s office for editing, according to Councilor Wayne Wilkinson, chair of the committee.

“People are unhappy. If they are unhappy, you send it back to the beginning,” Wilkinson said. “This needs to be more precise.”

Officially introduced this year in City Council, the proposed ordinance would require short-term rentals register with the city and get inspected to ensure they are safe. Among other regulations, the proposal also explicitly requires short-term rentals to meet the state building code. At public hearings, short-term rental owners have expressed concerns, including about the possible costs of bringing their properties up to code.

After the Planning Board recommended the ordinance with some amendments last month, the City Council sent the proposal back to the General Government Committee for further review.

Now, the plan is not to start a new proposal from scratch, but to clarify the existing one and incorporate input the council has received, Wilkinson said. “We’re going to do some tweaking.”

A possible addition: a new version might include a cap on the number of short-term rentals in the city, Wilkinson said. Currently, there are more than 60 short-term rentals in North Adams registered with the state.

The city already has a shortage of housing, said Councilor and General Government Committee member Peter Oleskiewicz. “You want to have housing available for the people who live here as well,” he said.

There are some frustrations that the ordinance has taken a lot of time, Wilkinson said, but ”it’s need to take this long because it’s such a controversial issue.”

An edited proposal is slated to come back to the City Council in early May, Wilkinson said.

Greta Jochem can be reached at gjochem@berkshireeagle.com or 413-496-6272.

Reporter

Greta Jochem, a Report for America Corps member, joined the Eagle in 2021. Previously, she was a reporter at the Daily Hampshire Gazette. She is also a member of the investigations team.

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