More Days, Bigger Fines

Cold Spring amends short-term rentals law

Mayor Dave Merandy at the Tuesday (July 6) meeting of the Cold Spring Village Board announced that the proposed law regulating short-term rentals (STRs) will be subject to a second public hearing.

A resolution to adopt the new law was tabled after Merandy was advised by Village Attorney John Furst that the Putnam County Planning Department must review recent changes made to the draft law and that a public hearing will be required after that review. 

No date was set for the hearing.

At Merandy’s suggestion, the board agreed to increase from 60 to 90 the number of days STRs will be allowed to operate in the village annually under the proposed law. 

He also listed the “substantial changes” made to the first draft of the law, including:  

  • Increasing the percentage of residential properties that can be used as STRs from 5 to 7.5 percent ;
  • Permitting 34 “hosted” STRs and 14 “unhosted” STRs;
  • Including STRs in the I-1 light industry zone;
  • Allowing one-time annual rentals of up to 14 consecutive days for events such as West Point graduation and vacations;
  • Reducing the liability insurance requirement;
  • Increasing fines.

The proposed STR law, which will become Chapter 100 in the village code, is posted on the Board of Trustees page of the village website.

Deputy Mayor Marie Early clarified dates for upcoming public hearings. On July 14 at 6:30 p.m. at Village Hall, a public hearing will address proposed updates to 11 chapters of the village code. On July 15 at 7 p.m. at the Cold Spring firehouse, a public hearing will consider two laws regarding marijuana sale and consumption establishments in the village.

The board passed two local laws opting out of New York State’s cannabis law. The state law would permit retail dispensaries selling pot and sites where people can smoke. The opt-out vote triggers a public referendum as part of the Nov. 2 election, when village voters will decide whether to allow dispensaries and consumption sites. 

Early also said the Parking Committee was scheduled to meet on July 7. Once it presents its final recommendations to the Village Board, which can reject, accept or revise the committee’s plan, a public hearing on the final plan will be scheduled.

Hear ye! Hear Ye!

The Cold Spring Village Board is currently addressing a number of significant issues. Here’s an update on upcoming public hearings / meetings:

• Village Code Update
Wednesday, July 14, 6:30 p.m. at Village Hall: A public hearing to address updates to 11 chapters of the village code. 

• Marijuana Laws
Thursday, July 15, 7 p.m. at the firehouse: A public hearing to address marijuana laws governing dispensaries and consumption establishments in the village. 

• Short-Term Rentals
A second public hearing on short-term rentals will be scheduled soon, addressing recent changes to the proposed law by the Village Board.  

• Parking Plan
A date will soon be set for a presentation of the Parking Committee’s final recommendations to the Village Board. 

In other business …

  • “It was my bad,” Merandy said while explaining the recent installation of license plate readers on Route 9D near Little Stony Point and Boscobel, and on Route 301 near the eastern boundary of Nelsonville. Merandy said he didn’t realize the cameras would be placed outside Cold Spring village limits. The LPR cameras were funded by a grant from the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department and are used to identify criminals sought by police and respond to Amber Alerts. Merandy said he will consult with CSPD Officer-in-Charge Larry Burke and present a full report to the board. He added that he discussed the matter with Philipstown Supervisor Richard Shea but had not yet spoken with Nelsonville Mayor Michael Bowman.
  • Village residents Nina Pidala and Roseanne Powell addressed the board, voicing concern about the potential environmental impact of two recharging stations for electric vehicles planned for lower Main Street adjacent to the pedestrian tunnel. Pidala complained that residents in that area are unaware of the proposed project. Merandy urged her to speak with the residents and bring concerns to a future meeting. He said he will consult with Krystal Ford, climate smart coordinator for the Town of Philipstown, which is spearheading the initiative. In 2018, Roberto Muller, the previous coordinator, asked the Village Board to identify possible locations for the stations.   
  • The village will carry through with its plan to purchase a new garbage truck after it considered using a private company for trash collection and recycling. Merandy said the total annual cost of garbage and recycling, when handled by the village Highway Department, is approximately $158,000. He estimated the lowest cost from two regional carting companies to be about $212,000. “The gap was too big without raising taxes,” he said. 
  • The board approved hiring John Martinez and James Hipple as police officers. The two candidates were recommended by Burke and were interviewed by the mayor and three trustees. 
  • A settlement was approved with William McComish, owner of 29 Rock St., who sued the village. No details were provided.  
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