At its meeting on November 15th, the Town Board voted unanimously to adopt its proposed regulation of short-term rentals. The board's vote took place following five public hearings since July during which numerous residents weighed in both for and against. Now that this new regulation has been adopted, property owners who are renting out portions of their homes to visitors, or those wishing to do so in the future, must now apply for a permit.
There is a three month grace period, which will allow the Building Department time to create the application and homeowners to begin assembling the necessary documents. The details of the process can be found by clicking on this link on the town website (starting at page 51).
The short version is that those seeking to comply with this new regulation will first need to apply to the town's Planning Board for a special use permit. When homeowners submit their application, all neighbors within 200 feet of the property will be notified so they have a chance to weigh in. The application will need to include information about the hosting platforms, such as Airbnb and VRBO, that a homeowner uses, plus, among other things, details of the bedrooms and maximum number of occupants, and a copy of the "house rules", as defined in the regulation.
If the Planning Board authorizes the special use of a property for short-term rental, the homeowner will then need to obtain a permit from the Building Department. The Building Department will inspect the entire home, not just the area where visitors stay, to ensure compliance with the Property Maintenance Code of New York State. Once issued, permits from the Building Department will be good for three years, assuming no violations are recorded.
The cost of this process? Homeowners will need to pay a $500 fee to apply for the special use permit and put another $500 into escrow. There is an additional $100 fee for an annual fire and safety inspection.
Following their vote, board members expressed their satisfaction with the process and the outcome. Board member Stacey Tompkins acknowledged that when the subject first arose, she doubted she would be in favor. But she said that after hearing comments from residents, she conclude that this was a necessary next step.
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