The Short-Term Rental (STR) battle that continues to frustrate all in Conway, has begun to spill over into the neighboring towns. At the Selectmen meeting this past week, Madison leadership unanimously approved funds of over $14,000 to hire an outside firm known as Host Compliance, LLC to identify the 170+ STR homes in the town and also check them for “compliance”. Host Compliance is based out of San Francisco, CA and is a subsidiary of Granicus, Inc.

Their website describes the company as, 

“the premier short-term rental compliance SaaS provider delivering a comprehensive suite of solutions designed to help solve local and state governments’ short-term rental registrationcompliance monitoring, tax collection, audit and enforcement challenges.” 

When the Selectmen began talking about specific regulation, it was noted that it would take quite some time to identify what rules needed to be changed and that it would also require public hearings and an eventual Town-wide vote. The next Town Meeting and Vote will take place in March of 2022.

Selectmen Josh Shackford commented that he is already beginning to see the “Us vs. Them” mentality forming a divide in the town. This was further evidenced by the STR homeowners and full-time residents that came to speak on behalf of both sides of the issue. 

The major concerns, voiced by full-time residents with support from Police Chief King, were in regards to the trash dumping, noise complaints, and use of the Silver Lake boat launch on East Shore Drive. Chief King went further to comment that in July 2020 there were 13 noise complaints from the Eidelweiss Village District called in. 

While on the other side, many STR homeowners came out to express their feelings on the matter too. Most pointed to the fact that STR homes provide revenue and jobs to the Town and its residents including cleaners, property management, and maintenance. Not to mention the thousands of dollars their clients spend at local businesses. Others in the group made their case with the question; why should we all be punished for the actions of one or two bad apples? 

At this point it appears that Madison is in the early stages of deciding how to move forward and address both sides of the issue. Many hope that Town leadership and residents will take the approach of regulation rather than an outright ban on STRs, the latter which has caused so many issues in the neighboring Conway. 

This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.