Short-term rentals, Fishkill water
By Jeff Simms
The Beacon City Council will discuss Airbnb and other short-term rentals at least once more before it considers regulation.
Many residents have said they oppose the traffic and noise that rentals may bring, while others, including many homeowners who offer short-term rentals through online services, asked the council to regulate the industry in a way that won’t shut them down.
More than 9,000 visitors stayed in Beacon at Airbnb rentals last year, according to the firm.
While the city can regulate short-term rentals through its zoning laws, it can’t change New York State building codes, which require that rentals meet fire-safety standards and could force many of Beacon’s hosts to make costly upgrades or stop renting.
“The one big catch, and the one that will make it unaffordable for people, is the way to make [a rental] conform to New York State building code,” said councilmember George Mansfield at the April 30 meeting. “That little paragraph [in the proposed Beacon regulation, referencing the state code] is where the money is.”
Mayor Randy Casale countered that complying with state law is one of the costs of doing business for any entrepreneur.
At a future workshop, the council will continue to discuss the issue, including the possible addition of a grace period if a law is adopted and how to address homeowners who rent out portions of multi-family dwellings.
In other business, the council at its May 7 meeting approved a two-year agreement with the Village of Fishkill to provide Beacon with up to 1.2 million gallons of water each day. The water would come at the same rate the village charges its residents, currently $2.15 per 1,000 gallons.
The arrangement is similar to a longer contract between the municipalities that expired earlier in this decade and had been continued on a year-to-year basis. The new agreement is a placeholder while Fishkill and Beacon negotiate a long-term pact, City Administrator Anthony Ruggiero said.
The council also on May 7 approved an agreement with Central Hudson Gas and Electric that will grant the company an easement along the Route 52 edge of Memorial Park, where the utility plans to relocate poles. The easement won’t affect the pavilion or playgrounds at the park, Ruggiero said. The utility also will replace two trees that need to be taken down, he said.
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