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  • December 08, 2023 9:05 AM | Anonymous

    Over 950 voters attended Tuesday's Special Town Meeting and turned down the Short-Term Rental Workgroup's proposal (Articles 1 & 2). This incredible turnout shows the importance of the STR issue to Nantucket residents and also shows there's more work to be done.

    We are truly grateful to all our supporters for your efforts to get out the vote!

    Article 1 failed, and although many voters were disappointed not to have the chance to vote down Article 2 once and for all, the effect was the same: voters prevented an islandwide zoning change with disastrous implications.

    A big win for Nantucket!

    ACKNow urged a NO vote on Articles 1 & 2 because they did not address the main problem: the proliferation of commercial STRs across the Island at the expense of the community.

    The regulations in Article 1 would have allowed all existing commercial and corporate STRs to continue to operate in residential areas. And Article 1 would have done nothing to stop what Article 2 proposed: to legalize unlimited commercial and full-time STRs across Nantucket.

    Several amendments were made on the Town Meeting floor, which further complicated Article 1 - it was 
    complicated enough to start with. The overall sentiment in the room was utter confusion. Still, there was a good discussion, with some voters suggesting:

    #1. The proposal did not do enough to protect year-round residents who want to rent their homes now or in the future, and

    #2. It did not do enough to limit commercial STRs. In fact, Article 2 would have done the opposite.

    Ultimately, voters defeated Article 1 in a 431-523 vote (it required a simple majority to pass).

    Matt Fee's amendment to Article 1 meant that if it failed, then Article 2 could not pass. So, after voters defeated Article 1, the Planning Board motioned to "take no action" on Article 2. It's unclear why this motion wasn't debated. Regardless, the "take no action" motion passed in a 562-266 vote.

    In other words, Article 2 failed. Once again, the Planning Board avoided a vote on its recommendation to amend Nantucket's zoning to allow commercial STRs islandwide (last year, it was Article 42).

    During Article 1's discussion, voters raised concerns over the loss of year-round community and housing and the added competition from commercial STRs that is hurting residents who need to rent their homes to offset expenses.

    Matt Fee was right in saying that a lot of good work has been done. We just have more work to do to get to an approach that residents that address concerns raised during the meeting.

    What's next? We now rely on the Land Court to interpret Nantucket's current zoning bylaw. A judge is scheduled to visit Nantucket in December, and a decision is expected shortly after that.

    Like other local organizations defending environmental or citizens' rights, ACKNow is supporting this zoning challenge to protect residential districts from commercial STR operations and, in turn, protect residents' ability to short-term rent their homes.

    This Town Meeting victory belongs to all our supporters and donors! It was a massive team effort. Thank you!!

  • December 01, 2023 9:14 AM | Anonymous

    Dear Chair Fiola and Chair Oliveira,

    We write in support of Bill S.2467, to Change the Name and Membership of the Nantucket Planning & Economic Development Commission (NP&EDC). We have homes in Monomoy, a residential area in Nantucket and are members of Monomoy’s active, committed civic association (MCA).

    We have dealt with the NP&EDC on many occasions, most frequently as part of our creation of the Monomoy Area Plan. From that experience we strongly believe that the NP&EDC needs to be restructured and made more accountable to the people it is charged with serving.

    In the fall of 2021 the NP&EDC unanimously approved Monomoy’s undertaking the creation of a local area plan for its geographic area. The NP&EDC provided to Monomoy a set of guidelines for preparing such a plan and unanimously approved the geographic boundaries suggested by Monomoy and the composition of the Working Group that would lead the effort by Monomoy.

    Based on this, Monomoy spent over 800 volunteer hours creating a state-of-the-art plan. The recommendations made in the MAP were based on a survey Monomoy prepared and sent to homeowners in its area. By June 2022 Monomoy had completed its plan and presented the 90-page draft to Andrew Vorce, then the executive director of the NP&EDC. Mr. Vorce expressed the view that the plan would readily be accepted by the NP&EDC and published for public comment.  

    The NP&EDC put the MAP on its September 2022 agenda. Monomoy had every reason to expect its acceptance, not only because Mr. Vorce had said as much, but also because the plan is exemplary in every way. Commissioner Barry Rector of the NP&EDC derailed the process, however. In their meeting of September 18, 2022, Mr. Rector said that the Monomoy Area Plan, all 90 pages of it, was “a good start.” When Monomoy asked what else needed to be done and when the NP&EDC would consider the MAP again, the NP&EDC declined to provide answers.

    It has been more than a year, and the NP&EDC has still not put the MAP on its agenda for acceptance and publication. Instead, in July 2023 the NP&EDC drafted new guidelines for the creation of local area plans which it aimed to apply retroactively to Monomoy, which would have required discarding 800+ volunteer hours and basically starting over. Some people on the NP&EDC expressed their concern about retroactive application of the new draft guidelines, understanding that to do so would be blatantly unfair. Still, no final decision has been made by the NP&EDC, and Monomoy’s local area plan remains in limbo.

    The NP&EDC is insular and resistant to public input. Bill S.2467 would go a long way to remedying this insularity and reminding the planning commission that it is accountable to the public it is supposed to serve.

    The Monomoy Area Plan can be viewed on the MCA website at

    We respectfully ask that your committee report favorably on Bill S.2467.


    Ken Roman, President, Monomoy Civic Association

    Franci Neely and Matthew Westfall, Co-Chairs, Monomoy Area Plan Working Group

  • November 12, 2023 9:08 AM | Anonymous

    (Copyright Symbol) 2023 Jason Graziadei, Nantucket Current

    Screen Shot 2022 02 10 at 10 09 03 PM

    The dust has not yet settled from the short-term rental debate at last week’s Special Town Meeting - when voters rejected a pair of bylaw proposals - but already the next chapter in the controversy is looming on the horizon.

    A Massachusetts Land Court judge is expected to rule in December or early January on a Nantucket lawsuit that claims a short-term rental in a residential zoning district is an illegal commercial use.

    For three straight years, Nantucket voters have declined to take up a series of proposed zoning bylaws that sought to clarify the questions surrounding the legality of short-term rentals on the island due to the fact they are not explicitly allowed in the zoning code. Now an off-island judge, the Hon. Michael D. Vhay, is poised to decide that difficult and complex issue for Nantucket.

  • November 11, 2023 9:15 AM | Anonymous

    Hello Monomoy:

    Two Articles that would have grandfathered 32 Monomoy Rd and other commercial short-term rentals were voted down at Town Meeting, That’s only the latest win. Our questioning of the Nantucket Planning & Development Committee proposal to redo its planning guidelines – more than a year after we created the Monomoy Area Plan on their original proposal – gained support. And of course the big win with the solar farm deciding not to build in Wyer’s Valley on the water company property. We’re on a roll.

    The MCA partnered on all of these. The Nantucket Land and Water Council took the lead on the solar farm issue. Executive Director Emily Molden credits our legal brief as a major contributor. The Nantucket Civic League joined us in questioning the new NP&EDC proposals. And we supported ACK.Now in its opposition to the STR Articles.

    On STRs, we have no intent to change the historic practice of individuals renting their homes. Our red line is real estate companies running a business in a residential area, prohibited in the zoning code. Nobody lives at 32 Monomoy. On the Monomoy Area Plan, volunteers spent hundreds of hours creating a brilliant plan on NP&EDC guidelines – we can’t ask them to do it again. We are not against solar power, but this industrial installation was moving with little public discussion of siting or mitigation of endangered species. 

    It’s worth checking our terrific MCA website, created by Leo Mullen. You’ll find the Monomoy Area Plan there. Also a complete Action Plan by Ed Orenstein for lawns and fertilizers to mitigate harbor pollution – plus Debbe Nicholson’s common sense actions for reducing night lighting. In the Member Area, there’s the Monomoy Directory created by Laura Choma, who is also our treasurer and does so much more for the MCA. 

    We are a philanthropic bunch. During Covid, the board and MCA contributed generously to the Nantucket Food Pantry. At the last annual meeting, we learned about Our House, the community program to provide a safe, nurturing place after school for Nantucket youth – in a house donated by our neighbor Teckie Shakelford. It is gratifying that many of you contributed to Our House. One visitor was amazed to learn that the biggest need they fill is food insecurity – on Nantucket!

    I’m sad to report the death of Sandy Taylor, a friend to many of us and the wife of our first president Ted Taylor. She was fun and enthusiastic – and a great gardener.

    Stay well as the days grow shorter … and think warm.

    Ken Roman, President

    The Monomoy Civic Association. BOARD: Laura Choma, Matt Dwyer, Meg Dwyer, David Ernst, Anne Finucane, Steve Leinbach, Michael Metz, Leo Mullen, Debbe Nicholson, Ed Orenstein, Jeff Parker, Michael Stanton and Matthew Westfall

  • January 13, 2023 9:11 AM | Anonymous

    Jason Graziadei • Jan 13, 2023

    Residents of Monomoy recently  assailed a short-term rental property owned by The Copley Group which they say has brought noise, trash, drunken parties, and traffic to one of Nantucket’s most exclusive neighborhoods.

    The comments came during a hearing before the Zoning Board of Appeals, as the Monomoy residents urged the board to find that The Copley Group’s use of the property solely as a commercial short-term rental in a residential neighborhood constituted a violation of Nantucket’s zoning code.

    Matthew Westfall, a seasonal resident who owns a property next door to The Copley Group’s short-term rental at 32 Monomoy Road, said it “has brought nothing but trouble to Monomoy and abutters,” while rattling off a list of alleged incidents stemming from renters there, including: criminal trespass; illegal cutting of trees; excessive noise; and “raucous” parties such as one house party that attracted “over 200 kids.”

    The Copley Group, Westfall said, had shown itself to be “self-serving, litigious, and unwilling to behave with any sense of deficiency to their neighbors, our community, or the fragile environment. I did not receive so much as an apology.”

    The Zoning Board of Appeals, however, remained unmoved. As it had done in previous and similar challenges of short-term rentals around Nantucket, the board voted unanimously to deny the appeal, and affirmed building commissioner Paul Murphy’s decision that the short-term renting of the property constituted an allowable residential use.

    “32 Monomoy Road being used as a short-term rental does not violate the zoning code,” Murphy said. “It’s still a residential use, which is why I declined taking enforcement action.”

    Neighbors of the property in Monomoy, however, were incredulous with that decision.

    “It’s not an owner-occupied home,” said Hale Everets, of 46 Monomoy Road. “It seems clear this is a for-profit business being run out of the home. To say people sleep and eat there is obfuscating the true use of the home.”

  • May 15, 2022 6:27 PM | Anonymous

    Apr 27, 2022 - This video is a message about the current realities facing Town Government and the impact these are having on services we provide. It is a broad overview of the state of the Town identifying the challenges we are facing and some of the initiatives we are putting into place to try to address them. We know that we will have to work especially hard this summer to maintain a satisfactory level of service to citizens. We are also presenting suggestions for ways for the public to become involved and help us address these realities.

  • April 20, 2022 7:30 AM | Anonymous

    Jason Graziadei • Apr 20, 2022

    Cape Air has announced that it intends to purchase 75 all-electric planes that will eventually replace the Cessna 402s that transport commuters and other travelers to Nantucket. The Alice commuter aircraft, built by the Arlington, Washington-based company Eviation, is designed for nine passengers and two crew members. The company says it will fly 440 nautical miles on a single charge, with a maximum cruising speed of 250 knots, or 287 mph.  READ MORE

  • April 20, 2022 7:27 AM | Anonymous

    By Joshua Balling

    (April 19, 2022) Three Steamship Authority freight boats have just three to five years of useful life remaining, with the car ferry Nantucket not far behind, according to a marine-survey report reviewed by the boat line board Tuesday.  The KatamaGay Head and Sankaty freight boats are just over 40 years old, and the Nantucket is 48 years old. READ MORE

  • April 19, 2022 2:43 PM | Anonymous

    By Brian Bushard

    (April 14, 2022) The two conservation organizations that own the vast majority of Coatue and Coskata are looking to protect the low-lying barrier beach from erosion, following a report from the Woods Hole Group predicting it will be almost entirely decimated by 2070. Read More

  • April 12, 2022 7:26 AM | Anonymous

    By Brian Bushard

    (April 11, 2022) The two conservation organizations that own the vast majority of Coatue and Coskata are looking to take action to protect the low-lying barrier beach from erosion, following a report from the Woods Hole Group predicting it will be almost entirely decimated by 2070.

    The concern is that losing Coatue could mean opening Nantucket Harbor to the ocean, potentially increasing erosion along its southern shoreline, and jeopardizing the marine habitat that relies on it.

    “If we didn’t have Coatue there, our north shore... Read more

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