Barrington Town Council may legislate rental properties

Council's decision runs counter to other boards and commissions

Posted 9/14/19

The Barrington Town Council will take a closer look at AirBnBs and other short-term rental properties in town.

Council member Kate Weymouth spoke about the topic during the council's Sept. 9 …

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Barrington Town Council may legislate rental properties

Council's decision runs counter to other boards and commissions

Posted

The Barrington Town Council will take a closer look at AirBnBs and other short-term rental properties in town.

Council member Kate Weymouth spoke about the topic during the council's Sept. 9 meeting. Ms. Weymouth said she was disappointed that other town boards did not deem the issue important enough to recommend legislation be drafted. 

Ms. Weymouth said she had been approached by some of her constituents who were concerned about the issue. 

Bob Barako and his wife also attended the council meeting. The Barakos live on Leslie Avenue near two short-term rental properties. Mr. Barako said large groups of unrelated people have rented those properties near his house. 

Mr. Barako said the situation has grown so bad that he and his wife try to avoid being at their home during the summer months.

In a letter to the town council, Mr. and Mrs. Barako called for the council to discuss the impact of AirBnBs on Barrington residents. 

"Curfews listed on the AirB&B site are not enforced," wrote the Barakos. "We have been told by one owner to call the police, by another to close windows and wear earplugs when the noise is excessive. On numerous occasions socializing has continued well into the early morning hours."

In his memo to the town council, Barrington Town Manager Jim Cunha recommended that the council request the solicitor to draft a short-term rental ordinance that requires licensing, owner occupancy, limits rentals to 90 or 180 days per year, and limits occupancy to two people per bedroom.

Councilors Jacob Brier and Steven Boyajian appeared apprehensive about drafting an ordinance. 

Mr. Brier noted the decisions by other boards to not implement regulations, while Mr. Boyajian said short-term rental problems appear to be a law enforcement issue. Mr. Boyajian asked if the council was over-stepping its authority, adding that it seemed like a government over-reach. 

"If it's really about peoples' behavior then we can ask the (police) chief to drive by," said Mr. Boyajian. 

He said he did not consider short-term rentals any different from the town's other properties — people should behave while they're there and not disturb the neighbors.

Barrington Town Council President Michael Carroll later added that he knew of a single woman in town who lived next door to a short-term rental property. He said he could understand how some people would be concerned about new people renting a home next door each weekend.

Mr. Carroll later made a motion to have the town's solicitor, Michael Ursillo, to draft an ordinance for review. 

The motion passed 4-0; Mr. Brier abstained from voting.

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