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North Adams Planning Board moves short-term rental proposal forward — with some tweaks

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NORTH ADAMS — Proposed rules for short-term rentals, like those rented on Airbnb, are now closer to becoming a city ordinance.

After amending the proposal several times at its meeting Monday night, the Planning Board voted to recommend it to the City Council. A major change: striking a proposed requirement that some rentals would have to be “professionally-managed.”

The proposal, officially introduced this year, would require short-term rentals to be registered with the city and get inspected. Among other regulations, the proposal also explicitly requires short-term rentals to meet the state building code.

So far this year, there have been multiple public hearings on the proposal and it has stirred debate.

Originally, the proposal said the rentals must be “professionally managed” if the rental is not owner-occupied or owner-adjacent, meaning that the owner lives in the same building of four or fewer units. That meant, including other rules, that the property had to be managed by a “local agent,” a person, company or entity contracted to do work like supervising the property and responding to complaints.

But at the meeting Monday, the Planning Board voted to take out any references to professionally-managed properties from the proposal.

“I would like to amend the proposal such that all language pertaining to professionally-managed properties be removed,” said member Jesse Lee Eagan Poirier. That passed with five members voting for it, three against, and one person abstaining.

The proposal now goes back to the City Council. At a public hearing last week, multiple city councilors said they were not supportive of the proposal as it stood then. The council may formally take it up next week — the body is scheduled to meet next Tuesday but its agenda is not yet posted on the city’s website.

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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