Stonington realizes short term rentals are illegal in town

STONINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) — Websites like Airbnb and VRBO, vacation rentals by owner, make it easier for owners now to rent out their homes and that’s causing concern for some neighbors.

“It’s just very very uncomfortable to live next to a party house every weekend,” says John Pryor who lives on Masons Island which is a private gated community in Stonington.

stonington short term rentals 1 Stonington realizes short term rentals are illegal in town“I’ve had drunk people sleeping in our cars,” says Pryor.

The house next door has five bedrooms and renters fill them almost every weekend in the summer.

“I had another party person come to our bedroom window and knock on the window and say I got to get in the house,” says Pryor. “I said you’re at the wrong house.”

Turns out short term rentals are illegal in town.stonington short term rentals 2 Stonington realizes short term rentals are illegal in town

“Most of our zoning regulations were written in the 1960’s including short term rentals,” says Dave Hammond the chairman of the Economic Development Commission.

The commission is now working on a comprehensive rewrite of zoning regulations and could change the rules. Right now no rentals less than thirty days are allowed in town.

“Potentially the way it could work out would be certain portions of Stonington it would be okay for and others not,” says Hammond.

stonington short term rentals 3 Stonington realizes short term rentals are illegal in townHe says Mystic and Lords Point have traditionally had more seasonal rentals.

“It is difficult so the best way is to open it up to the public and have public input,” says Hammond.

The Planning and Zoning Commission is holding a workshop at 7 p.m. December 20th at Mystic Middle School just for this issue. Public input is encouraged.

Pryor is hoping the town will require someone local to keep an eye on these rentals. His neighbors live out of state.

“A lot of these VRBOs around here are just one or two and a couple or two show up and there’s no impact,” says Pryor. “I mean it’s nice.”

Despite having a waterfront location the Pryors have bought another house and are selling their original home because of the renting situation next door.

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