Lenox still wrestling with limits on days for short-term rentals

(Evan Triantafilidis)
Members of the Lenox Planning Board.

LENOX — When the annual town meeting comes around in November, residents here hope to be able to vote on a town bylaw regarding the regulation of short-term rentals.

What hasn’t been decided yet by the town’s Planning Board is a set number of maximum days that restricts how often a whole-home short-term rental, like an Airbnb or VRBO, will be able to operate in one year.

Board members informally polled those in attendance at the board’s July 23 meeting. Some residents suggested as low as zero days, while others suggested as high as 180 days.
Talks continued into Tuesday night, with three out of the five board members present discussing the creation of the bylaw with concerned residents.

Tom Delasco, vice-chairman of the board, summarized his findings and was met with audible disagreement from resident Beth Gamble.

“There seemed to be, from the numbers that I wrote down, a consensus around the 110- to 120-day mark,” said Delasco.
Gamble, who also serves as the treasurer of the town’s cultural council, replied, “Yikes.”

She endorsed a number closer to 75 days allowable for the short-term rentals.

“It looked to me like two-and-a-half months, because what you’re doing, you’re letting people do the summer and they also get Thanksgiving,” said Gamble.

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