The Town is currently receiving an unprecedented number of requests for Outdoor or Temporary Activities Permits to hold indoor and outdoor events, particularly leading up to and around Dartmouth Graduation. Town staff look at all requests for Outdoor Activity Permits very closely as we try to manage our community’s COVID mitigation response.
The May 13th CDC announcement regarding masking and social distancing for individuals that are fully vaccinated against COVID has NOT changed our current response. The Town will re-evaluate our current mask and gatherings policies in early July, once a much larger percentage of area residents are fully vaccinated and there is a much greater likelihood that visitors to our region have also been fully vaccinated.
Please note under the Town’s current COVID response plan:
- A temporary Activity Permit is regulated by Town ordinance #40, EMERGENCY PUBLIC HEALTH REGULATION, adopted in response to the COVID pandemic in September of 2020.
- Ordinance #40 was written to allow for Hanover residents, and not weekend visitors or short-term renters, to regain some sense of normal social interaction within a controlled and regulated manner.
- The influx of individuals from “away” that are here for graduation brings a new risk of COVID spread to the community.
- Graduation causes stress on our community in normal times, and large social gatherings in our residential neighborhoods while insufficient numbers of residents and visitors have been fully vaccinated to achieve significant herd immunity will only add to the stress.
While the voters approved Short-Term Rentals at the Town Meeting in July of 2020, the implementation of the ordinance was conditioned upon the Selectboard adopting a Rental Housing Ordinance that establishes occupancy standards and a registration and inspection process for all rental properties. The draft Rental Housing Ordinance is currently under review by Town Counsel and will be presented to the Selectboard at once the draft is fully vetted by Town Counsel and the Code Department. As such, property owners should not be renting their residential properties for use by short-term rental users nor should guests be hosting large gatherings on or in these properties. Given that it is still illegal in Hanover to use a dwelling as a short-term rental (Airbnb, VRBO, Craigslist or other online short-term rental platform- style). As such, short-term renters are not eligible to apply for a Temporary Activity Permit.