Some meetings in Provincetown are in person, some are online, and some are both. Click on the meeting you want to attend on the calendar at provincetown-ma.gov for a link to an agenda and details.
Thursday, Oct. 20
- Board of Health, 4 p.m., Town Hall
- Zoning Board of Appeals, 6 p.m., Town Hall
Monday, Oct. 24
- Select Board, 6 p.m., Town Hall (joint meeting with Truro Select Board)
Tuesday, Oct. 25
- Finance Committee, 2 p.m., Town Hall
- Licensing Board, 5:15 p.m., Town Hall
Thursday, Oct 27
- Public Pier Corp. Board, 5 p.m., Town Hall
- Planning Board, 6 p.m., Town Hall
That Depends on the Question
At its upcoming meeting, the select board and Town Manager Alex Morse plan to discuss the scope of work for a study by the UMass Donohue Institute of the town’s short-term rental sector. The information is needed to properly assess several proposals the town may take up at its next housing workshop in December, including a zoning overlay district that would ban new short-term rental activity in the neighborhoods north of Route 6. The planning board has already discussed that measure and was initially supportive but ultimately decided that more data was needed before taking such a significant proposal to town meeting.
Short-term rentals are both a critical component of the town’s tourist economy and widely seen as the culprit in the demise of year-round rental housing here, since renting short-term to vacationers is much more profitable than renting year-round to residents. For that reason, the study is drawing significant discussion even though it does not yet exist.
Two public commenters and select board member Louise Venden were concerned about the research team’s prior work on Nantucket, which concluded that short-term rentals “are unlikely to affect the amount of affordable housing available for on-island residents” because properties used for short-term rental tend to cost more than the median home.
Select board member Leslie Sandberg and Morse both said that a private advocacy group had commissioned the Nantucket study from UMass Donohue and that the product the town receives would be much more reflective of Provincetown. Chair Dave Abramson pointed out and Morse agreed that the way the questions are asked can have a significant effect on the answers received. The board agreed to review the “scope of work” document in detail at its meeting on Oct. 24. —Paul Benson