Fairhaven Not Enforcing Bylaws
It is apparent our Fairhaven Government doesn’t enforce the laws they don’t like.
What if the people of Fairhaven didn’t obey the laws they don’t like, such as paying our taxes?
The people of Fairhaven have a right to know what is going on, or not going on in our Town Hall regarding our Short Term Rental bylaw.
No one in our Town Government has been taking responsibility to enforce and implement a very important bylaw 190-1 that was created this past year regarding Short Term Rentals.
December 31, 2022, marks the date for changes/increases in STR limit amounts from 64 or less, to not more then 120 after the end of this year. Re: bylaw 190-3 B.
I was told a variety of things by town officials, including that the STR limits are over the top and no one has been enforcing the STR bylaw.
Of course, I am realizing that most of the hard-working people in Fairhaven have no clue of this. The reason for this letter to the editor.
Also, according to bylaw 190-20 The Town Administrator, currently, Angeline Lopes Ellison, shall publish annually in the Town of Fairhaven, an annual report on the statistical data relating to short term rentals.
I had a conversation with our current, interim building commissioner, and he had absolutely no knowledge of these bylaws, and further stated that there was no such list of how many STR’s are operating in Fairhaven. He did say that he would be reviewing the bylaws that I copied from our town website, and presented to him, but he also said that the building department could only enforce the area of the bylaws 190-12 that come under the heading of Inspections. Yet the bylaws state otherwise.
He also stated that he would need to hire someone to help him with the inspections. Our current interim Building Commissioner agreed that these bylaws are important for the “well-being” and “safety” of the general public as stated in Chapter 190-1 under the title Purpose. The purpose that coincides very clearly with our constitutional rights. Which is why these bylaws were enacted in the town of Fairhaven.
But what good can they serve if not enforced by the very individuals, some we have elected, others who are appointed, and who claim to lead, serve and protect the well-being and safety of, We The People in Fairhaven.
I shared with our current Building Commissioner that our police department, according to bylaw 190-3 F, is supposed to have a list of all STR’s currently operating in the Town of Fairhaven. Again, he has no knowledge of such a list to present to them.
I also emailed the current Town Administrator and our Planning and Economic Director and asked about this STR list and if it was public, and I was given no reply.
I have sent several emails to our Town Administrator, and she continues to evade my questions, and at one point I was verbally told when I saw her at a local restaurant that I must wait on talking about the STR subject until next year.
In the meantime, every house that comes up for sale in Fairhaven is potentially a profit target for out-of-state/unknown investors, to come and purchase these homes and turn them into mini hotels for profit right here in our family residential areas that are not zoned for business.
Because we are so close to a beautiful beach here in this little town of Fairhaven, we are an enticing target for profiteers, who are invading towns like this everywhere in the US, and causing homelessness in the process, and making long term rentals extinct, and home purchasing impossible now for the vital workforce and their families, to afford.
If something is not done about this soon, in a couple of years our housing needs will completely be controlled by Wall Street Investors and other “unknown” money holders, and we will be told how and where we can live. It’s already happening across the nation. To Be Continued….
Michelle Costen, Fairhaven
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