Nantucket’s Annual Town Meeting (ATM) closed last night after two nights of debate and discussion. As usual, Madame Moderator, did an excellent job ushering the Town through the warrant over the two nights. Town Meeting is a result of the hard work of the Town officials, committees and boards who work on these issues all year. Some of the notable outcomes of the 2019 ATM were the following:


Pools: The warrant article proposing significant restrictions on pools was withdrawn; it sought to prohibit and impose certain restrictions on pools, but the measure met with some strong opposition resulting in last night’s outcome. While we do not think that is the last we will hear about this issue, properties currently being developed do not have this obstacle ahead of them in the near future with regard to obtaining a building permit, etc… Permits that were on hold by the Town should now be able to proceed.

Solar: A Solar Energy Overlay District was adopted.

Energy Efficiency Requirements: The Stretch Energy Code was adopted, effective as of September 1, 2019. These are new energy efficiency requirements;

Ground Cover Allowance: Residential Old Historic (ROH) District reduced from 50% to 40% (no change to Sconset (SOH)).

Ground Cover Calculation: Generators, generator enclosures, mechanical and utility equipment were excluded from Ground Cover calculation.

Second Dwellings: Second dwellings are now banned in the Moorlands Management (MMD) District. See the Zoning Map of Nantucket for the location of the MMD district –

Contractor shops: Allowed in the Commercial Mid-Island (CMI) District, however, please note that the allowance is via Special Permit from the Planning Board.

Sheds: The 16-foot height limit on non-ground cover sheds is now measured from the top of foundation instead of from mean grade.

Stairs: Stairs, including access ramps and platforms, can now be as much as 3 feet into a setback if they are less than 20 square feet of area and on a lot of less than 40,000 SF.

Setbacks: A partial waiver from the Front Yard Setback rules is now available for certain lots that technically have front yards on multiple sides due to bends, curves and corners on a single road.

Subdivision: The option for “Rear Lot” subdivisions where the installation of the subdivision road is waived by the Planning Board, is now available for all subdivisions; previously this was only available for subdivisions that did not require any waivers.

Oil Tanks: All new above-ground oil tanks must meet new standards, and, all existing ground oil tanks, at the time of property sale, must also meet these standards.

Noise Bylaw: Amended to include construction noise under a building permit, and also noise from car/boat repair and testing and noise from “domestic” power tools.


Affordable Housing: $25M was allocated for affordable housing via two different Warrant Articles. Both Articles overwhelmingly passed their respective Town Meeting votes; the $20M Article still needs to pass at the ballot on Tuesday 4/9/19.

Please note that this post is informational and not intended to provide legal advice or to create an attorney/client relationship. Please contact us directly for legal advice.