By Holly Crocco
The Town of Putnam Valley is considering a change to its zoning code to regulate short-term rentals via a special use permit. A public hearing on the matter has been scheduled for 6 p.m. July 19 at Town Hall.
Short-term rentals, such as Airbnb and Vrbo, are locations that can be rented for less than 30 days.
“Now, this is happening around us, so we have to regulate this so it’s not getting out of control,” said Town Supervisor Jackie Annabi at the June 14 Putnam Valley Town Board meeting. “We’re putting together a proposal to pass regulations for us to live in harmony, if you will, with transients… With the increase in tourism over the past several years in the Town of Putnam Valley and adjacent areas, there has ben an increase in the number of property owners renting to tourists on a short-term, transient basis.”
She noted that, while short-term rentals offer benefits to property owners such as increased income, they can also pose public health, safety and quality-of-life detriments.
While Annabi encouraged residents to review a copy of the proposed code change either on the town website or in person at Town Hall, the board reviewed some of the major points of it at the meeting.
Per the resolution, the town board would authorize the planning board to issue special use permits to property owners to use their properties as short-terms rentals, and the building department would then be authorized issue permits for such uses.
Short-term rental use shall only occur as an accessory use to existing or proposed single-family homes in certain districts, and must meet density and setback requirements for the zoning district. Each property owner will be limited to two permits/locations.
No short-term rental use may occur at multi-family, commercial/industrial or vacant properties.
“Nothing in this section shall alter, affect or supersede any regulations or requirements for the Town of Putnam Valley zoning code,” or county, state or federal code, the resolution reads.
An application fee, as well as an inspection fee, will be established, per the resolution. The application will be developed by the building department.
A grace period for property owners already operating short-term rentals has been included in the revision.
In addition, the town board reserves the right to set a maximum number of short-term rentals allowed, at any time.
Annabi encouraged residents to familiarize themselves with the proposed changes and attend the upcoming public hearing if they would like to voice their comments or concerns.
“I recommend you get a copy of this and read it over,” she said. “Anybody who has any opinions or discussion, we’d like to hear it.”