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Conway Voters to Decide on Rental Inspections

An article in today's Conway Daily Sun discusses the controversial licensing program for rentals in Conway.  Here is a link to the article.  Below is a summary of the key points:

  • Change in Rental Inspection/License Program: The Conway Selectmen have decided to let voters decide on the rental inspection/license program in April.

  • Prior Landlord Licensing Requirement: Before this decision, landlords were required to have licenses to rent out properties.

  • Program Modifications: Modifications to the rental inspection program include the creation of a local appeals board, a waiver process for occupied rentals, a simplified renewal process, and the issuance of certificates of compliance instead of licenses.

  • Public and Official Feedback: The decision followed discussions with Deputy Town Manager Paul DegliAngeli, Conway Planning Board member Eliza Grant, and other stakeholders.

  • Program Status Pending April Vote: While the program will be proposed as a warrant article, its suspension until the April vote is undecided.

  • Ordinance Drafting: The rental program is being drafted as an ordinance, as opposed to its previous form of a collection of documents on the town website.

  • Legal Defensibility and Support: The town counsel supports this new approach, believing it makes the program more defensible in court.

  • Approval of the New Approach: The Selectmen voted unanimously (5-0) in favor of this new approach.

  • Possible Revisions to Town Ordinances: If passed, this program would revise Chapter 72 of the town ordinances.

  • Concerns Over Short-term Rentals: There's debate over the application of Chapter 48-A, which restricts imposing additional regulations on vacation or short-term rentals.

  • Fee Distribution and Inspections: Questions remain about how fees are divided between the town and fire departments, which perform inspections.

  • Draft Ordinance Details: The draft ordinance includes provisions on the program’s purpose, regulations, application and inspection processes, waiver and renewal processes, fines, appeals, and definitions.

  • Potential Waivers and Renewals: The draft suggests waivers for non-compliant, occupied long-term rentals, and a seven-year renewal for properties that pass inspections and meet certain conditions.

Here is a link to the town of Conway's website with more information.

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