Tentative Dates Set for 2020 Annual Town Meeting and Annual Town Elections
Due to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, these Truro public events were postponed. New dates are tentatively set for:
- ATM on June 23 – Warrant will include only budget + finance-related articles. The Select Board has determioned that a physical meeting is necessary – the site and method will be announced shortly. The SB is receiving requests that one or more Zoom-based meetings be held to discuss the budget and finance-related articles and seek wide community input well in advance of ATM. If they agree, we will update here.
- Town Elections on June 30 – Absentee and mail-in voting will be used without requiring an explanation. The Town will announce procedures shortly.
SHORT-TERM RENTALS | RECENT CLARIFICATIONS | STATE BAN UNTIL MAY 4th, AT LEAST
- On March 31, the State issued rental guidelines barring all short-term rentals until at least May 4th, unless these rentals are for health care workers or other essential workers. Short-term rentals a are defined as rentals for 31 days or less. The Town is actively enforcing this regulation and will issue a cease and desist order to any non-complying residence. Owner occupancy is unaffected. For details on the State regulations, see this link.
- These regulation are quite clear: while this Order is in effect “the provision and occupancy of lodging for leisure, vacation, and other purposes may not continue.” Further, persons with agreements to rent after March 31 “may not exercise those agreements and may not occupy those lodgings” and operators of rental lodging “may not provide” rental lodging or future agreements for rental lodging while this is in effect, unless such use is for “essential” purposes.
- If you agreed and transacted to rent your property prior to March 31, these are the conditions that apply:
- If the short-term rental was occupied before March 31, the agreement may be honored but may not be extended.
- If the short-term rental occupancy was to start after March 31, owners are prohibited from renting until the short term rental restrictions are lifted by the Governor.
- If an agreement for an entire summer rental (32 days or more) was made and transacted for occupancy to begin after March 31, the owner may fulfill that agreement but the renters must, by law, quarantine for the full 14-days.
- Campgrounds are considered short-term rentals by the Town and are closed until the short term rental restrictions are lifted by the Governor. The Town is awaiting additional guidance from the State on this subject and anticipates that, when the Governor’s ban is lifted, campground operators will also have to inform the Town about COVID-safe practices (e.g. social distancing, sanitizing, etc).
Regardless of political persuasion, Governors in the Northeast are taking a very cautious approach to “re-opening” communities, notwithstanding the pressure here – as a tourism based economy – to re-open as soon as possible. In addition, visas are not available, so summer help is limited and that effects most Cape businesses during the summer population surge.
We expect that May 4th date projected to open the Massachusetts economy will be extended further and with it, short-term rental bans may likely be extended. With this in mind, we recommend if you rent for some or all of the summer, that you take down your listings for May and June and re-evaluate after the July 4th weekend. We have no crystal ball – just a sense of lie on the ground – so use your own best judgement about whether to offer rentals anytime later this season. We realize this will be another hardship for many.