Letter to Editor: No on 2

To the Editor:

On Nov. 5 Bar Harbor voters will be asked to vote on Article 2, a change in the definition of vacation rentals which will allow room rentals in addition to unit rentals.

I do not know why this has the approval of the Town Council, Planning Board and warrant committee because it is a bad idea.

Pressure from local vacation rental ordinance violators has made it look like this is an issue of the sharing economy, of mom and pop operations, of cash-strapped widows trying to make ends meet.

In reality, vacation rentals are big business and this provides one more lucrative opportunity for investors, both local and out-of-state, to buy houses in Bar Harbor for use as hotels in residential neighborhoods. The cost of buying a house will increase even more with it increased ability to make money.

The original vacation rental ordinance in Bar Harbor began with a few homeowners wanting the ability to rent out their house for a few weeks while they went to camp, enabling them to pay their taxes. Look what happened!

People who wish to rent out rooms for vacation rentals should apply to see if they can run a bed and breakfast in their neighborhood.

They also have the option to rent rooms by the month. It’s not as glamorous or as lucrative but it sure would help the community and the planet by helping workers avoid a long commute.

Bar Harbor should be establishing ordinances that encourage monthly rather than weekly rentals.

Please vote no on Article 2.

Laureen Donnelly

Town Hill

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