Avon short-term rental hearings coming soon
AVON — Public hearings will be held soon as the town decides how to proceed with a request to allow short-term rentals on Nottingham Road.
The planning and zoning commission will soon take up the issue as property owners on Nottingham Road have asked their area be included in a short-term rental overlay district that was created in 2009.
Members of the council said the majority of feedback they had received from the community thus far has been in support of short term rentals there and specifically in support of local property owner Kevin Hyatt, who brought up the issue. Hyatt intends to use his unit as an owner-occupied short-term rental through popular websites such as Airbnb.com.
On Tuesday, Sept. 12, a pair of Hyatt’s neighbors said they were vehemently opposed to the proposal to allow short-term housing.
“As some of you may remember we just did a huge remodel on our place on Nottingham Road, as our commitment to living here full time,” said Nottingham Road resident Nancy Adam. “And we hate to see it going into an overcrowded traffic nightmare.”
Several other of Hyatt’s neighbors, however, came to his defense. Nottingham Road resident Cy Curtis said for long-term residents, owner-occupied short-term rentals are a weight lifted off their shoulders when it’s time to make the mortgage payment.
“We all have three jobs, we’re just trying to survive,” Curtis said. “We’re all not moving, we all live in our units.”
Living in one’s short-term rental unit versus renting out the whole unit is a distinction the Avon Town Council would like to see.
“There’s a lot of other towns that add a lot of other regulations, such as that,” said Planning Director Matt Pielsticker. “Our current ordinance doesn’t go into that at all.”
The current overlay district, which Hyatt and others would like to see Nottingham Road included into, does not include regulatory requirements for parking or other issues. If an area in town becomes part of the overlay district, then both owner occupied and non-owner occupied short term rentals are allowed by the town, with the fine tuning left to individual home-owner associations.
“It’s just by citizen complaint if people think there’s an overuse of a particular unit,” said town manager Virginia Egger. “I would say, since I’ve been here, we have had some complaints of short-term rentals that are illegal, we have had very few complaints about the way the overlay district works today, from people that are using those units, so I would say where you have had it, it has worked … quite well.”
Egger said in looking at additional regulation, the town should first examine what its new data collection service turns up. The company is called Host Compliance Services and provides information to the town about who is short term renting, how often, and how much they are charging.
“Look to apply the same overlay district that you have elsewhere,” Egger said. “Then, I would recommend, let’s see what Host Compliance is telling us, let’s begin to look at other (towns), what they say short-term renters should be required to do, that’s more regulation that may not be favored here,” Egger said.
Nottingham Road property owners will be notified by mail of the proposal to include Nottingham Road into the short-term rental overlay district a couple of weeks before it gets to the Avon Planning and Zoning Commission. The first of the upcoming public hearings will take place at that planning and zoning meeting.
Planning and zoning will then make a recommendation to the Avon Town Council, which will hold two public hearings on the matter. The planning and zoning commission meets on the first and third Tuesday of each month in the Avon Town Council chambers.