Letter: Ignore the Rules

The Cold Spring Village Board has made the unfortunate decision to press ahead with a set of short-term rental rules that are discriminatory and legally invalid, two days after holding a perfunctory public hearing (Cold Spring Adopts Short-Term Rental Law, Aug. 6).

The Cold Spring Union of Hosted-AirBNB Residents urges residents to ignore these rules and refrain from participating in the permitting process until a collaborative and equitable set of rules is developed.

In my view, the amendment of Chapter 134 by the Village Board, which acknowledges short-term rentals, makes their operation legal in the village. Further, the rules and restrictions in Chapter 100, taken as a whole, are invalid because they constitute multiple infringements upon the rights of residents, particularly property owners operating STRs.

I urged the Village Board to stand down and instead to work collaboratively with a cross-section of impacted stakeholders to develop a fair and equitable set of rules. Nonetheless, the resolution was brought forward for a vote and adopted by the thinnest of margins (3-2), with two board members voting “no” in part due to the lack of collaboration. Because of this unfortunate set of circumstances, it would be improper for me to participate in a legally invalid permitting process.

In light of the unanimously approved amendments to Chapter 134 that allow the operation of short-term rentals in principle, I intend to resume the peaceful and lawful operation of my STR.

John Lane, Cold Spring

One thought on “Letter: Ignore the Rules

  1. The new set of short-term rental rules and regulations, passed by a slim majority of the Cold Spring Village Board, is deeply flawed procedurally and probably will not stand for long.

    The biggest flaw was that no stakeholder committee was formed, as is standard procedure in issues of this import (e.g. the comprehensive plan, the parking committee, the tree committee, etc.).

    This led to the second biggest flaw: No research was ever done as to the facts around the STR issue. How many are there? What are the complaints, and how many were made? What are the impacts, pro and con, on the village and Main Street? How many jobs have been created? How many proprietors are retirees?

    No effort was made to provide accurate data and answers. Instead, a slim majority of the board sought to impose its opinions and biases on the community as a whole, based on hearsay and guesses.

    I intend to continue to run my small rental business as I have done for 31 years and refrain from lotteries, permits and invasive financial reporting, until a new mayor and new trustees take office.