Winslow Pillsbury started renting his Cape Elizabeth home a couple of years ago, after he was laid off from his job as a fabrication supervisor at Fairchild Semiconductor.

During the summer months, when the four-bedroom house on Clinton Road was booked, Pillsbury, his fiancee and two children would live on his boat moored near Spring Point in South Portland.

Without the income from the rentals, advertised at a weekly rate of $1,200 to $1,900, Pillsbury said he wouldn’t have been able to make his monthly mortgage payments.

“If I didn’t need the money, I wouldn’t do it,” said Pillsbury, who still hasn’t found steady work.

Pillsbury is part of a growing trend in Cape Elizabeth, where the town staff has identified 35 properties that are advertised as weekly rentals for all or part of the year.

They’re in Pond Cove, by Two Lights State Park and off Ocean Avenue – on lots as big as 100 acres and as small as 300 square yards.

From a two-bedroom apartment near Crescent Beach to a 7,000-square-foot house on Shore Road, the homes are said to sleep as few as four people and as many as 22. Rates are listed as high as $11,000 per week, while a few are less than $1,000.

Town Planner Maureen O’Meara said she doubts the list is complete, but it gives town councilors an idea of how many homes are being rented out regularly, as they consider whether to regulate them.

Annual registration and parking requirements are among the rules in an initial version of a new ordinance regarding rental properties. A subcommittee of councilors will discuss the draft at a meeting this morning.

Town officials became aware of problems at rental properties after town employees received complaints from neighbors last summer about frequent, loud parties and an abundance of parked cars crowding neighborhoods with narrow streets.

The Ordinance Committee first talked about which rules to adopt at a meeting in October, when O’Meara presented a list of regulations that other communities have for vacation rentals.

Ordinances from Saco, Chicago, Santa Cruz, Calif., and Key West, Fla., were among those O’Meara studied. Some included home inspections, taxes, registration fees and caps on the number of guests allowed at a time.

O’Meara said councilors had indicated they didn’t think most of those rules were necessary.

In the proposed ordinance, all rental homes would have to provide a parking space for every four guests.

Homeowners who live next to the houses they rent would only have to register with the town by providing the location of the rental property, their contact information and the time period they planned on renting it.

Those who don’t live near their rental homes would have to provide the number of beds in the house, number of overnight guests allowed, proof of proper sanitary waste disposal, depiction of the available parking on the property, and a copy of a rental agreement that would be given to every group of guests.

The code enforcement officer would have to review the registration form and decide whether the house was compliant with life-safety codes. Whether that means an inspection, O’Meara said, hasn’t been decided.

Registration would be required annually, and the Police Department would run a report for complaints about the home in the past year.

Town Manager Mike McGovern has said the code enforcement officer has received the majority of complaints from neighbors, which have amounted to about a dozen annually in recent years. Calls made Friday to Code Enforcement Officer Bruce Smith for a list of those complaints were not returned. The Ordinance Committee is scheduled to review that list at the meeting starting at 8 a.m. today at the Town Center Fire Station.

Pillsbury said he doesn’t have any objections to registering with the town or having some rules imposed on rental homes. Requiring a rental agreement is no problem; he already has guests sign one.

But requiring inspections or imposing high taxes are measures Pillsbury thinks would be over the top.

“I just don’t think it’s necessary,” he said.

Staff Writer Leslie Bridgers can be contacted at 791-6364 or at:

[email protected]