Local zoning commission for Noank considering regulations on short-term rentals, Airbnb

New London

GROTON, Conn. (WTNH) — The Zoning Commission in the Groton village of Noank is considering regulations on short-term rentals on sites like Airbnb, but some residents say that would hurt them.

Mary and Mike Edgerton have enjoyed their Noank home for many years and someday they may want to share it as a short-term rental.

“I agree no one wants to live next to a hotel but I don’t think that’s what we’re talking about,” said Mike Edgerton.

The local zoning commission for Noank is considering regulations on short-term rentals advertised on websites such as Airbnb. Many say this will limit their ability to rent their homes on these sites. 

The proposal says, “residents and property owners have complained about excessive noise and unruly behavior by Short Term Renters.”

“On the Airbnb platform people are rated,” said Noank resident Ben Greenfield. “Hosts are rated and you have to do a good job.”

Greenfield has lived in Noank for 56 years. He rents one of his units on Airbnb which has helped during the pandemic when he lost 70 percent of his commercial lighting business.

“It was just a gift that I had during a really difficult time and it was a gift actually to other people,” said Greenfield. “People who clean the place. An actress who was out of work.”

He is most concerned about stipulations that could limit rental frequency to just two parties a month and the number of rental days per year to 45.

“If you’re going to make any money here you’re gonna rent your place in June, July, and August, and maybe September,” said Mary Edgerton.

The Edgertons say many need to rent their home to help pay the high property taxes in town. They say, allowing only people who have owned their home for three years to rent it out hurts even longtime families in crisis.

“Somebody’s died, someone’s older and they’re putting their property in trust or something for their children, those are changes in ownership,” said Mike Edgerton.

News 8 did speak to Rick Smith who is the chairman of the Zoning Commission for the Noank Fire District. He says he could not speak to this draft proposal except to say that the commission is looking to have a public input session sometime in June.

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