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    Tuesday, February 27, 2024

    Who really wants more STRs?

    The guest commentary in The Day titled “Banning STRs not the answer in Groton” identifies him as owner and operator of East Street Hospitality. A review of the website for his firm makes it clear he has much to lose with strict conditions placed on STRs in Groton. He actually manages multiple sites for property owners “to optimize your vacation rental listing, prepare your property for guests, and handle all ongoing operations.” In short, Mr. Rodrigues is a corporate entity seeking to lure more Groton residents to enter the STR business. He can pretend to suggest he wants to preserve and share the quaint aspects of Mystic and Groton. In actuality he is a force behind the ever increasing number of homes becoming STRs.

    Regarding possible regulation he fails to suggest anything and may have missed the Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments (SCCOG) report of 2021 regarding STRs. It is extensive and deals with the impact of STRs (disruption to neighborhoods, loss of available housing) along with considerable approaches a town could take to ameliorate the issues such as only allowing STRs in certain areas of town, requiring minimum separation distance between STRs and limiting the number of STRs town wide.

    The Groton Planning and Zoning Commission has suggested regulation through zoning restrictions. Although I believe more of the SCCOG strategies should be included in the commission’s zoning restrictions it is a start for the town. There are now at least five STRs in a short walk from where I live. How many more can I expect?

    Paul Berkel


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