Short-term rentals have become a source of contention in many places around the state. Vacationers want to come and enjoy our coast, our lakes and woodlands, and both residents and investors from away are prepared to help them do so — for a fee. And of course, vacationers like to stay in residential neighborhoods rather than motels in a commercial district because they are attractive, private and quiet.

Some towns have passed ordinances regulating these properties to avoid the deterioration of the residential character of their neighborhoods and preserve housing stock for potential permanent residents.

Other municipalities are just beginning to feel the effects of the popularity of renting properties online, which makes it easy to rent one’s home in Maine while living hundreds of miles away.

Stockton Springs is one such town, and we think the Select Board there is doing a good job of keeping the dialogue going between owners of short-term rentals and those of their neighbors who do not always enjoy having vacationers come to stay next door.

The board has balanced resisting pressure to restrict property owners’ right to rent their homes to vacationers if they wish with encouraging rental owners to set and enforce clear policies with their guests out of consideration for those living nearby.

At the board’s latest meeting, members urged residents who have experienced problems with vacationers to document any future problems and take them up with the property owners. As board members said at the meeting, this allows property owners an opportunity to fix the problem. It also will provide a factual basis for any future ordinance.

One resident who attended the last board meeting objected that while the problems in Stockton Springs have so far not been documented, the sorts of problems that arise with vacation rentals are known. True, but in order to justify an ordinance in Stockton Springs, the problems must be shown to be occurring there. It is not enough to assume that problems that have occurred elsewhere will inevitably arise wherever short-term rentals exist.

It is important, if the town eventually does implement an ordinance to regulate these properties, that it be tailored to this place and the particular problems that have been experienced here.

Furthermore, in a town of about 1,600 people, it should be possible for neighbors to work out their differences without resorting to regulation. We think the Select Board struck just the right note in asking those who object to the rentals to take their issues to the property owners, as well as encouraging owners to stress to their tenants the importance of behaving with the consideration owed by guests to their hosts.

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