Similar to Cold Spring statute, with two categories
The Nelsonville Village Board voted 3 to 1 this week to pursue regulation of short-term rentals and scheduled a public hearing on the draft legislation for Oct. 18.
After several years of intermittently considering controls on rental of apartments, rooms or homes arranged through services such as Airbnb, the board unveiled a draft law last winter and held a spirited hearing before temporarily shelving it.
Unlike the earlier version, the latest draft would create a two-tier permit system: One permit would allow hosts to rent for up to 30 days at a time and for up to 100 days annually. The village would limit these permits to 15 annually, representing 7 percent of the 215 houses in Nelsonville (up from 5 percent in the earlier version). The board could increase that number in a given year.
The second type of permit would allow the rental of a unit for two periods of up to one-week each, or a maximum of 14 days yearly, to accommodate visitors for events such as West Point graduation. The draft law does not limit the number issued.
Any property with a short-term rental (STR) would have to be the primary residence of the owners, meaning they live there at least 185 days each year. If the owners were not on the premises, they or a manager would have to respond in 30 minutes to problems. (The draft law would not cover traditional bed-and-breakfasts or hotels and motels, which are regulated separately in the village code.)
Hosts would need to register with the village, have their rentals inspected by the code enforcement officer/building inspector, and pay $250 for a permit, renewable annually for $150.
Other draft provisions state:
- Permits would expire if a property changed ownership.
- No trailers, tents, sheds and garages could be rented as STRs.
- An STR must include a toilet, sink and shower or tub with hot and cold drinkable water.
- STR properties cannot be used for commercial events, such as concerts.
Mayor Mike Bowman and Trustees Chris Winward and Dave Moroney voted to move the draft forward. Trustee Kathleen Maloney voted no, saying that she thinks it could have been improved. Trustee Maria Zhynovitch was absent.
Sonia Ryzy-Ryski and Rudy Van Dommele, who rent units through Airbnb, including an Airstream trailer on their 5-acre site near the Haldane campus, again criticized the village approach.
“What constitutes the Airbnb crisis in Nelsonville and how is this law going to change anything?” Van Dommele asked. “This is not a big city that needs big regulations.”
Ethan Timm suggested the law could allow homes such as his, on larger lots, to offer rentals more frequently than those whose neighbors are only a few feet away.
Frank Caccetta, who lives on Main Street, maintained that short-term rentals “bring in crime” as thieves “spend a couple of days, look around, case the joint, come back later.”
Bowman urged residents to comment at the Oct. 18 hearing.
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