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Wellesley residents complain about Airbnb home used for wild party

Wellesley residents say a nearby property was apparently rented on Airbnb to host a wild party Saturday night.LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images/File 2017

Residents of a Wellesley neighborhood are calling on town officials to intervene after they say a nearby property was apparently rented on Airbnb to host a wild party Saturday night, leaving the street in disarray and raising questions about regulations for these types of services.

Several Shaw Road residents came forward during Monday’s selectmen’s meeting to complain about the boisterous gathering at the home over the weekend. The soiree twice required police intervention and left the street littered with Solo cups and a neighbor’s driveway splashed with vomit.

“It was a horrible evening,” a woman who identified herself as Michelle Boecher told the board. “It’s atrocious. Help guide us. We are coming to you because it was — it’s having a dance club in your neighborhood. And I’m sure that none of you would like that, and I don’t know where to go from here.”


Neighbors want to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

David Himmelberger, a resident on nearby Linden Street, said at the meeting that the situation at the home, which is listed for $75 per night on Airbnb, escalated quickly, with cars “pouring” up Shaw Road and blocking access to the street.

“An individual had rented the house from Airbnb, was hosting a party, had a bouncer, had a DJ — $5 admission bought you a beer cup — and very quickly Shaw Road was impassable,” he said.

Himmelberger said the property owner has allegedly “advised the neighbors” that she bought the house with the sole purpose of renting it out on Airbnb, a move he believes doesn’t fit in well with the town’s residential neighborhoods.

“I would like to urge the board to consider putting together some sort of committee, possibly with the Planning Board, to consider ways to address this so that other neighborhoods, and our neighborhood, do not have to experience this ever again,” he said.


Wellesley Police, whom selectmen confirmed responded to the property twice before finally shutting down the party, did not return a request for comment Wednesday.

The Swellesley Report, a blog that keeps tabs on what’s happening in the community, first reported on the issue.

On Airbnb, the homeowner lists several rules for renters of the “Cozy, Single Family, Colonial Home,” including one that discourages people from walking “naked in front of open windows facing my neighbors because they all have young children.”

The listing says Babson College is 1 mile away from the property, and Wellesley College is a mere 2 miles away.

“My place is good for couples, solo adventurers, business travelers, families (with kids), big groups, and furry friends,” the listing says.

The Globe reached out to the property owner through Airbnb and by phone, but did not immediately receive a reply.

During Monday night’s meeting, Ellen Gibbs, the board’s chairwoman, said the town is listening to residents’ concerns.

“We’ve heard a good deal both from citizens, at this point, and from our own staff,” she said. “We’ll take the issue under consideration for sure and probably have more of a response in the very near future.”

Watch the video of Monday’s meeting below:

Steve Annear can be reached at steve.annear@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.