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Hotels in the middle of the neighborhood

Short Term Rentals (STRs) refer to rentals of private homes for fewer than 30 days. I am concerned about the impact STRs have on our neighborhoods and communities.

STRs are hotels set in the midst of residentially zoned neighborhoods. Residential zones were not designed to handle the activities of vacationing hotel guests: traffic, parking, noise, litter. Hotels are built in commercial zones because such zoning is designed to accommodate such activity.

Guests renting STRs do not contribute to our communities. They are not expected to support our school systems, our libraries, or our emergency services. After their holiday, they return to their neighborhoods.

The rental prices STRs can charge, $2,000-$3,000/week, also impact the local housing market. Can our working and/or middle-class families afford monthly rentals of $8,000-$12,000/month? They cannot. Online real estate sites list homes for sale as “potential STR property,” which in turn increases the sales price as often business entities purchase them.

The Town of Groton Zoning Commission should enforce our current regulations. STRs do not appear under “Permitted Uses.” Thus, they are illegal.

Let us sustain safe neighborhoods.

Linda Vogel

Mystic

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