Island Property Owners Who Were Sued Over Short-Term Rental Speak Out

The Grapes' property on West Dover Street.

Last Friday we reported on the latest dispute over short-term rentals on Nantucket: a lawsuit that has made it to Massachusetts Land Court seeking to declare short-term rentals as illegal in residential zoning districts.

The legal effort is being taken by Silver Street resident Cathy Ward, with support from the island political action group ACK Now. In the wake of our reporting, the property owners who are being sued – Peter and Linda Grape, of Wellesley, MA – decided to speak out to decry the lawsuit against them.

“We are disappointed and distressed regarding the actions brought by Cathy Ward with the support of ACK Now,” the Grapes said. “We do not believe we use our property for ‘commercial’ purposes as we use it a great deal for ourselves.”

Read the full statement from the Grapes that was shared with Nantucket Current below:

“We want to respond to the complaints brought by Cathy Ward regarding activity at our home on 9 West Dover Street. We are upset regarding the characterization of our behavior and would like to set the record straight. First of all, we strongly believe the issues brought forward have little to do with the short term rental (STR) debate that is ongoing in the town. This is entirely about the use of our outdoor space (by both owners and tenants) and its impact on Ms. Ward.

We would like to address the issues listed in recent articles raised by Ms. Ward and delineate the actions we have taken in response to those issues.

1. Noise: Ms. Ward has written to us twice over the last 5 years regarding noise issues with the use of our outdoor space. We have responded to all her complaints promptly and thoroughly. With respect to the party she describes in the press release, when we learned of that activity we did not invite the tenants back to our home and promptly advised Ms. Ward. We have given her our contact information and asked her to call us with any further disturbances. She has never called us. In addition, we have informed our extended family as well as our tenants regarding the noise ordinance of the town and the expectation that the ordinance will be followed. Her complaints have included noise generated by the closing of our gas grill lid as well as normal conversation had at the outdoor dining area and crying toddlers. These are all sounds which one should expect to hear from neighbors. We are not aware of any instances in which the police have been called and or any formal complaints registered with the town about noise. Finally, no other neighbors have complained to us about these issues and we hear similar noises all around us.

2. The first we heard of the issue raised regarding the person leaving our outdoor shower was at the Zoning Board of Appeals Meeting in November of 2021.

3. The lighting of our outdoor space is not exceptional. We have lights by each exterior door (as in most houses on the island) as well as 4 landscaping lights. In addition, there is a spotlight above our outdoor stairs that is pointed downward and is rarely used. All this lighting has been present since the house was built in 2005 and we have not added to it.

We are disappointed and distressed regarding the actions brought by Cathy Ward with the support of ACK NOW. We do not believe we use our property for “commercial” purposes as we use it a great deal for ourselves. Finally, we very much wish to be good neighbors and solve these issues by other means.”

Peter A. Grape
Linda O. Grape

 

 

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