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Joyce Endee

Police Commission addresses short-term rental noise complaints


September 01, 2021
WOLFEBORO — What is to be done about noise complaints associated with short term rentals? Members of the Planning Board and Short Term Rental Committee Kathy Barnard and Susan Repplier approached the Wolfeboro Police Commission at its Aug. 19 meeting to discuss just that question.

Chief Dean Rondeau, whose department is in charge of enforcing the town's noise ordinance, said his review of noise complaints from last year showed only four or five were filed. He added that it would be helpful if associations would set rules, regulations and fines and take action.

Repplier responded that the committee has been told that the majority of short-term rentals are successful with the exception of two or three neighborhoods. She wondered if it is possible to fine the property owners.

"We cannot hold absentee owners accountable...they are not in violation, so you cannot hold them responsible," answered Rondeau.

He reiterated that the Homeowner's Associations have to create regulations with "teeth" and offered Port Wedeln's rules on golf carts as an example of an excellent job. Yet, remarked Repplier, they are "struggling with the short term rentals."

Chairman Steve Wood commented that civil matters are out of the department's hands. Rondeau said police may reach out to owners if there are "systemic issues with noise", but neighbors need to report it to the department.

Activity for the month of July included 51 incidents, 134 offenses, 28 arrests, and 15 accidents. Officers made 469 traffic stops; 41 tickets resulted.

Court activity has slowed because of the three-day July 4 weekend and summer vacations, said Rondeau. Only 11 cases were heard this past month. Of those 11, four were found or pled guilty. Two were placed on file pending good behavior, restitution, and other classes as part of their agreement. Another five were forwarded to diversion. The conviction rate was 100 percent with $2,294 in fines, restitution and penalties.

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