Somerville Council Committee May Vote on Proposed Condominium Conversion and Short-Term Rental Ordinances on March 21

The Somerville City Council wishes to inform the community that two significant votes may take place on Thursday, March 21. At the 6 p.m. meeting of the Legislative Matters Committee of the Whole at City Hall, Committee Chair & Ward 5 Councilor Mark Niedergang believes that votes may be taken on the Proposed Condominium Conversion Ordinance as well as the Proposed Short-Term Rental Ordinance.

Council members welcome any further input on both proposed ordinances at citycouncil@somervillema.gov or, for contact information for individual Councilors, visit www.somervillema.gov/citycouncil. Again, March 21 is a likely date for votes on these matters, but whether to vote is up to the Council as a whole and will depend on what amendments are proposed at the meeting.

Proposed Condo Conversion Ordinance Updates:
After the Public Hearing on January 31, 2019, changes were made to the proposed ordinance and presented to the Legislative Matters Committee on March 7. The revised proposed ordinance, a memo detailing the revisions made, and a copy of the Office of Housing Stability’s response to public comments on the draft ordinance are all featured at somervillema.gov/condo-conversion where other related documents, materials, and links to meeting videos are also posted.

The proposed ordinance change is designed to both protect the rights of property owners while also offering better protection to tenants especially the elderly, persons with disabilities, and persons with low and moderate incomes.

Proposed Short-Term Rental Ordinance:
After public meetings held by the City on the topic of short-term rental regulations in 2018, and two public meetings held by the City Council’s Legislative Matters Committee in November 2018 and February 2019 on the Administration’s proposed ordinance, revisions to the proposed ordinance were made including the removal of the provision that permits “owner-adjacent” units to be rented for the short-term. The revised proposed ordinance is available at somervillema.gov/strs along with additional related documents and materials.

The proposed ordinance seeks to balance the ability of Somerville residents to generate needed additional income with the need to preserve Somerville’s residential housing stock as part of overall efforts to support housing affordability.

What: Legislative Matters Committee Meeting of the Whole When: Thursday, March 21, 6 p.m. Where: City Hall, 93 Highland Avenue, 2nd Floor Council Chambers.

Individuals with disabilities who need auxiliary aids and services for effective communication, written materials in alternative formats, or reasonable modifications in policies and procedures, in order to access the programs and activities of the City of Somerville or to attend meetings, should contact the City’s Manager of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Nency Salamoun, at 617-625-6600 x2323 or NSalamoun@somervillema.gov.

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