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Short-Term Rentals in the Commission's Service Area

Last Updated: August 18, 2023

Short-term rentals have a deep history in rural Maine. The rise of user-friendly online reservation platforms and evolving traveler preferences have contributed to the growing popularity of short-term rentals in the Commission's service area. While short-term rental activity can bring positive economic effects, it can also create nuisances for neighbors and have environmental impacts. The Commission is studying short-term rental activity and exploring potential regulatory options.

During the summer of 2023, the Commission gathered information on how short-term rental activity affects residents and visitors in the area it serves. As part of this process, the Commission sought feedback on a potential regulatory approach for short-term rentals. Commission staff facilitated in-person community meetings in the Millinocket, Moosehead, and Rangeley regions as these are areas of significant short-term rental activity. A virtual meeting and a written public comment period were also held. The written public comment period closed on August 15, 2023. There will be additional opportunities for comment if the Commission decides to proceed with rulemaking or further information gathering.

Following this summer’s outreach, the Commission will use the information and feedback obtained to evaluate, refine, and potentially decide on a regulatory approach for short-term rentals.

Potential Regulatory Approach

The Commission is considering a regulatory approach in which property owners provide a simple notice to Commission staff that a dwelling is being used as a short-term rental. In addition, the Commission would adopt performance standards specific to short-term rentals and include on the notice form a self-verification by the property owner that these performance standards are, or will, be met. This regulatory approach is explained in more detail in the “Community Meeting Short-Term Rental Presentation” (June 15, 2023) linked in the table below.

Materials on Short-Term Rentals

The table below contains links to materials relevant to short-term rentals (STRs) in the Commission’s service area and to the short-term rental study. The most recent materials appear at the top of the table. The table will be updated whenever new materials are available.

The memo and presentation in bold at the bottom of the table provide an overview of 1) short-term rental activity in the Commission’s service area; 2) regulatory approaches taken by other jurisdictions; 3) potential regulatory approaches the Commission could adopt, and 4) a recommended regulatory approach.

Date Project Update or Event File Links
July 13, 2023 Rangeley Region Community Meeting
June 29, 2023 Moosehead Area Community Meeting
June 15, 2023 Millinocket Area Community Meeting
June 15, 2023 Community Meetings Begin
May 10, 2023 Update on STRs in the LUPC Service Area – Presentation to the Commission
May 4, 2023 Update on STRs in the LUPC Service Area – Memo to the Commission
March 8, 2023 STRs in the LUPC Service Area - Presentation
March 1, 2023 STRs in the LUPC Service Area – Memo to the Commission