Bristol will consider how to regulate short-term rentals

By Christy Nadalin
Posted 11/29/19

Bristol is kicking the tires on having a way to track the number of short-term rental properties in town.

“We’re just trying to be proactive at this point,” said Chris Vitale, …

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Bristol will consider how to regulate short-term rentals

Posted

Bristol is kicking the tires on having a way to track the number of short-term rental properties in town.

“We’re just trying to be proactive at this point,” said Chris Vitale, Bristol’s economic development coordinator, to determine if there is a need for regulation of short-term rental properties, typically considered those occupied for a month or less.

The issue came up recently in reaction to the fact that several other nearby municipalities, including Barrington, have recently instituted similar ordinances. At present, the workshop isn’t scheduled, but according to Mr. Vitale, Bristol Town Council Chairman Nathan Calouro is interested in getting it scheduled soon.

There will be a public notice and hearing before any definitive action is taken, presumably in the first quarter of next year. There will also be a grace period before any new regulation is enacted.

The types of issues the town would be interested in confirming or regulating include fire code compliance, occupancy levels, and availability of adequate parking.

“We’re looking at best practices of other communities,” said Mr. Vitale.

The town’s goal would be to have any ordinance revenue neutral, so the most likely approach would be to institute some sort of permitting fee structure, either flat or based on occupancy. “All these details are to be discussed in the planned special workshop,” said Mr. Vitale.

Though already receiving some revenue from a short-term rental tax recently imposed by the state, the town is focused on gathering information, like how many short-term rentals are being maintained throughout town, and where they are. “We need to find out all that information,” said Mr. Vitale.

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