Since the 1800s, homeowners in this seaside peninsula have been renting out their houses for the summer to make some extra money for the rest of the year.
“It’s a practice almost as old as the tourism industry — a tradition that’s always been there,” said local historian John Galluzzo.
Galluzzo said he — and countless others — were surprised when the Hull building commissioner recently ordered four homeowners to stop renting to vacationers, saying the town’s zoning bylaws don’t allow the practice in residential neighborhoods.
The controversy started over the winter when a group of homeowners led by Mark Gladstone — an attorney in Canton who owns 117 Beach Ave. — filed a complaint with the Building Department about two houses being rented near his in the scenic Kenberma section of town. One house — 119 Beach Ave.— overlooks the beach and the other — 110 Manomet Ave. — is around the corner.
The complaint was that the rentals were businesses in an area zoned for single-family residences, said Building Commissioner Peter Lombardo. Two of the property owners have appealed, and the Board of Appeals will hold a hearing Aug. 29 on the ruling, which Lombardo acknowledges potentially could affect hundreds of residential properties in town.