To the editor:
I am writing to clarify some misinformation that appeared in a recent Letter to the Editor. A citizen wrote of her concerns with my involvement as the Co-Chair of the Comprehensive Plan Update Review Committee (CPURC), stating that I am “strongly against regulation of STRs, owner of an STR in Canaan, and several additional properties slated to become STRs.”
I do own a property on Queechy Lake in the Town of Canaan that I currently manage as an Airbnb. However, I want to assure you that her other declarations about me and our committee being “pay-to-play” are 100% inaccurate.
I am actually in favor of common-sense STR regulations, especially for the purpose of helping our town government gather data and maintain the safety of our neighbors, all while respecting property owners’ rights. I have stated this fact multiple times in previous town board meetings.
My family and I own several houses in the Town of Chatham that have been year-long rental properties for decades. These full-house, affordable rentals provide citizens options who prefer renting instead of owning. Neither myself nor anyone in my family plans on changing our long-standing practice of maintaining year-long rental properties. Most of our tenants stay for well over 5 years. In fact, we just renovated one of our properties and have a new tenant who we hope stays for many years to come.
Finally, I am honored to serve as Co-Chair of the CPURC with my fellow members who represent all political parties and have varied professional backgrounds, including a prominent land-use attorney and a member with ties to Chatham going back to 1816. All members have nothing but the best interest of Chatham in mind. There is absolutely no “pay-to-play” activity or agenda. Just as the previous Comprehensive Plan Committee did, we are voluntarily sacrificing countless hours of our time to help update the Comp Plan for the benefit of our town’s future. We are not only open to, but are also actively seeking as much public participation as possible, having already created a robust community outreach plan.
Our hope is that the post-election finger pointing will cease and instead, all citizens will come together to serve our community in a positive way, being a part of the solution, not a part of the problem. It is time to unite.
We look forward to working with our community and thank the past and present boards for their service to our town.
Jeanne Veillette Bowerman