Mayor tightens rules on short-term rentals
This week Mayor Martin J. Walsh filed a revised ordinance creating regulations for the short-term rental industry, including platforms like Air BnB, which, according to City Councilor Michelle Wu, may appear on next Wednesday’s agenda for discussion by the Council.
The amended version bans investor-owned apartments from being rented on a nightly basis like a hotel and restricts short-term rentals (defined as fewer than 28-night stays) to owner-occupied properties, except that owner-occupants of 2- and 3-family homes may list an additional owner-adjacent unit up to 120 days per year. The proposed ordinance addresses the many complaints and concerns expressed to the BHCA about the proliferation of investor-owned apartments in the neighborhood. Many residents have been concerned that the short-term rentals not only reduced the neighborhood’s housing stock but also were associated with problems of safety, cleanliness, improper trash handling and excessive noise.
Because of these concerns, for more than two years BHCA representatives have worked silently and diligently with the Alliance of Downtown Civic Associations (ADCO), which represents the nine largest residents’ association in downtown Boston. They have conducted research and collected data on short-term rental operators here and in other major cities, and educated city and elected officials about the status of the industry.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to hear that Mayor Walsh has filed the bill supporting our position,” said Keeta Gilmore, who represents the BHCA in the Alliance.
The BHCA encourages residents to contact members of the Boston City Council to show their support of the Mayor’s ordinance. For a list of the City Councilors and their email addresses, go to www.bhcivic.org.
A total of 57 new trees will be planted in the neighborhood by the Parks Department this spring and early summer, according to BHCA Tree/Civic Beautification Committee Co-Chairs Miguel Rosales and John Corey. A list of trees on the spring planting list is available at the office.
Committee members will identify the young trees with ‘I’m New’ tags and continue to keep an eye on them. In addition, all young vulnerable trees without a protective tree guard will be given a black dog sign to remind owners to curb their pets. The BHCA will have a limited number of the signs available for pick up in late May.
Neighborhood Coffee Hours launched
Mayor Walsh and the Boston Parks and Recreation Department have begun hosting the 19th Annual Neighborhood Coffee Series in local parks citywide. These coffee hours give residents a unique opportunity to speak directly with Mayor Walsh and the staff from several city departments.
Through these discussions and a suggestion box at each site, Mayor Walsh looks forward to hearing how the City of Boston can improve local parks, public areas, and city services.
Residents from Beacon Hill and Back Bay are welcome to attend the coffee hours to be held on May 24 from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on the Commonwealth Avenue Mall between Arlington and Berkeley streets.
Coffee and breakfast treats will be provided by Dunkin’ Donuts and fresh fruit from Whole Foods Market. In addition, each family in attendance will receive a flowering plant grown in the City’s greenhouses and abe eligible to win a raffle prizes from Dunkin’ Donuts.
Information will be available on City programs from the Boston Public Library, Boston Public Schools, Boston Police Department, and Boston Centers for Youth & Families.
For more information and updates on possible weather cancellations, please contact the Boston Parks and Recreation Department at 617-635-4505 or on Facebook or Twitter.ouse SewrS
Tuesday, May 22: Events Committee Meeting. 6:30 p.m., 74 Joy Street
Upcoming Special Events
Monday, May 21: Beacon Hill Civic Association 96th Annual Meeting & Reception. 6 – 8 p.m., The Union Club, 8 Park Street. The keynote speaker is James F. Seagle, Jr., President of Rogerson Communities, whose talk is entitled ‘Yes in My Back Yard….’.
June 21: Summer Evening at Otis House. 6-8 p.m., 141 Cambridge Street
July 18: Evening on the Esplanade
Visit the Beacon Hill Civic Association website bhcivic.org and/or call the office (617-227-1922) for more information on how to get involved.