Notice of Adoption of Short term Rental Ordinance



On 11/06/2023, the Selectboard of the Town of Fairlee, Vermont, adopted the Short Term Rental Ordinance. This notice is published pursuant to 24 V.S.A. § 1972 to inform the public of the ordinance adoption and of the citizens’ right to petition for a vote to disapprove the ordinance adoption.
I. Authority
This Ordinance is adopted pursuant to the authority set forth in 24 V.S.A. § 2291(14) and (15). This Ordinance is designated a civil ordinance under Chapter 59 of Title 24, V.S.A.
II. Purpose
The Town of Fairlee Selectboard hereby find that unregulated short term (i.e., less than 32 days) transient occupancy of dwelling units in residential neighborhoods presents a threat to the public welfare relating to compatibility with residential uses and preservation of the character of the neighborhoods in which they are located, and to the availability of housing stock in the Town, and the threat to water quality in the Town’s lakes due to excess use of onsite wastewater systems. Unregulated short term rentals have negative secondary effects on residential areas, with such areas experiencing heightened adverse impacts from parking, garbage, noise and outdoor/nighttime activities. These negative effects, when left unchecked, injure and degrade the community as a whole and constitute a public nuisance. The purposes of this Ordinance are:
(a) to balance the desire of property owners to rent their residential properties to short term rental guests for compensation against the desire of residents to preserve the traditional peace and quiet of their residential neighborhoods;
(b) to preserve and protect residential neighborhood character and livability from the nuisance impacts that are often associated with short term rentals;
(c) to limit or prevent long term rentals from being replaced with short term rentals;
(d) to ensure the safety of occupants of short term rentals and the well-being of the community;
(e) to protect the water quality of the Town’s lakes by limiting occupancy within the capacities of onsite wastewater systems; and
(f) to promote the public health, safety and welfare of the Village, its residents and visitors.
The full text of the Ordinance may be examined at the Fairlee Town office at 75 Town Common Road, and may be examined during regular office hours.

Title 24 V.S.A. § 1973 grants citizens the right to petition for a vote at a special or annual Town Meeting to disapprove ordinances adopted by the Selectboard. To exercise this right, citizens must present to the Selectboard or the Town Clerk a petition for a vote on the question of disapproving the ordinance signed by not less than five percent (5%) of the Town’s qualified voters. The petition must be presented within forty-four (44) days following the date of the adoption of the ordinance. Unless a petition requesting a vote is filed pursuant to 24 V.S.A. § 1973, the Short Term Rental Ordinance shall become effective sixty (60) days from the date of said adoption.
Additional information pertaining to this Ordinance may be obtained by contacting Ryan Lockwood, Fairlee Town Administrator at or by calling 802-333-4363, ext. 2, during regular office hours.
The full text of the ordinance may also be found here: Short Term Rental Ordinance