What began as a discussion about short-term rental ordinances for Airbnb properties evolved into a startling relevation by Ward 5 Councillor John Powers that “teenage parties” are being held on weekends inside an Airbnb property on Pines Road.
Powers also reported that alcohol was being brought into the single-family home during the afternoon hours in advance of the nighttime parties, but it is unclear whether there was alcohol present at the gatherings.
“Regarding this matter, I had the occasion Friday evening, as I’ve had in the past two of three Friday evenings or Saturday evenings to go down to Pines Road,” began Powers. “When I got there about 9 p.m., for about an hour and a half I observed probably 40 people going into a single-family home down there.
“Somebody has purchased that home and turned it into an Airbnb to run teenage parties down there,” continued Powers.
The councillor said he has received calls from residents on Pines Road, “who observed the occupants bringing in alcohol in the afternoon.”
He also expressed concern that the party-goers were parking their vehicles on the Lynnway, “disturbing the residents down there – [because] there is no parking on Pines Road.”
Powers told his colleagues that he took the bold step of approaching “one of the individuals” and asking to speak with one of the party organizers “who was moving cars around down there,” inferring that a party organizer was also acting as a valet for the gathering.
Powers was not pleased with his interaction with the person in charge. “He said to me, ‘this is our business – not your business.”
Powers said he decided “to make it my business” and called Revere Police Department Chief David Callahan. The RPD’s response was immediate. “We had two police cars, the police dog, and [Parking Director] Jim Rose was good enough to send down a parking enforcement officer. It was total insanity down there that night,” said Powers, describing the scene in the Point of Pines neighborhood that included individuals climbing over a seawall to gain access to the property. “It’s totally out of control.”
Powers noted in his remarks that Mayor Brian Arrigo has appointed Nick Catinazzo as Director of Short-Term Rental to oversee the Airbnb process as of July 1.
“This needs to be dealt with before July 1,” cautioned Powers. “This should not be allowed to continue for one more night. Simply what we’re talking about, someone purchased the house and he’s running juvenile parties down there in the house on weekends.”
As for the Council’s original discussion of short-term rental ordinances, members applauded the mayor’s appointment of Catinazzo to address the situation across the city.
“We’re happy that Mayor Arrigo is going to be appointing Nick Catinazzo to run this department,” said Ward 4 Councillor Patrick Keefe. “Ultimately the City has the ability to purchase the software that can manage these accounts. The software is out there. Obviously people are taking advantage of living near the ocean and renting out these properties and we understand that. But we just want to keep some buffers around it and make sure and it [the rental of Airbnb properties] is not being taken advantage of and they’re being monitored and they’re being inspected by the city.”
Councillor-at-Large George Rotondo noted there are currently 300 properties in Revere that are listed on the Airbnb website.
The Council unanimously approved the motion by Councillors Joanne McKenna, Arthur Guinasso, and Patrick Keefe that Mayor Brian Arrigo request City Solicitor Paul Capizzi to amend the short-term rental ordinance to provide for six months of rental days as opposed to the 60 days currently allowed.