Published in the September 7, 2016 edition


LYNNFIELD — Alexander Styller of 8 Needham Rd. returns to the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) Tuesday, Sept. 13 for a continuation of his appeal over the building inspector’s cease and desist order forbidding him to conduct short-term rentals of his home.

The monthly meeting of the ZBA will be held at the Al Merritt Media and Cultural Center, 600 Market St. at MarketStreet Lynnfield at 7:30 p.m.

The five-bedroom home, which is located in the single residence RC zoning district, was the scene of an unsolved murder over the Memorial Day weekend that occurred during one such rental. Styller stated at the ZBA’s Aug. 2 public hearing that he has rented out his home about six times a year using online services such as AirBnB and Home Away.

Styller had done so over that holiday weekend for an event which he said his renters had characterized would be a small college reunion for about 20 people. However, according to the Essex DA’s office and published reports, about 100 people showed up. Around 3 a.m. on Sunday, May 29, Keivan Heath, 33, a Randolph father of two, was shot and killed at the home during the party.

Prior to the murder, the town was unaware that Styller had been renting out his home to short-term renters for periods of two to 30 days. Subsequently, Building Inspector John Roberto issued the cease and desist order, stating that such activities are classified as hotel, lodging or rooming house uses, which are prohibited in the town’s single residence zoning districts due to its commercial nature.

Furthermore, Roberto stated in his order, that Styller had never applied for a special permit from the ZBA seeking a lodging house use of the premises. Going through the special permit process would require another public hearing at which abutters, members of the public and other town officials could also weigh in. The special permit process enables the ZBA to impose specific conditions on the activity for which the applicant is seeking approval.

Both Styller and his attorney, Les Riordan, maintain that renting out one’s home is not expressly prohibited under the town’s zoning bylaws. Styller’s appeal also states that the town permits as an accessory use in the RC district “the regular renting of rooms or the furnishing of table board in a dwelling by prearrangement” without a special permit.