Lakewood Trustees Hear Update On Short-Term Rentals

LAKEWOOD – Members of the short-term rental committee gave an update recently on the current state of the proposed law to the Lakewood Village Board of Trustees.

Committee Member Carrie Cadwell-Brown said that the language should be strengthened and consistent throughout the proposed new law. Cadwell-Brown noted that there is still some fine-tuning regarding the language, but the law is almost ready for a vote by trustees.

“The consultants want to speak to the board (of trustees),” Sandwell-Brown said.

The board is scheduled to meet on Feb. 25 and members of the consultant firm are available to talk with the board via Zoom, if the board chooses, Trustee Ellen Barnes said.

“They are available and very willing to come and talk to us,” Barnes said.

Both Barnes and Cadwell-Brown refer to short-term rentals are considered businesses or non-residential uses.

Cadwell-Brown said that the final draft is supportive of the current village zoning.

“And that’s important, especially to a residence, an R1. That residential zoning is there for a reason. Because we’re right there and having businesses operate right next to you is hard,” Cadwell-Brown said.

In October 2023, Planning Project Manager Molly Gaudioso, of Colliers Engineering and Design, gave a presentation about the draft of short-term rentals regulations. Colliers recently completed the rebranding of Bergmann Architects, Engineers, and Planners, and Bergman is now part of Colliers. One potential benefit of a STR is that property owners can diversify potential streams of revenue.

Gaudioso also noted that other potential benefits are the village may see an increase in local economic activities and tourisms as well as an increased supply can restrain price growth for STRs and make traveling more affordable.

Some potential STR issues, Gaudioso outlined in the October meeting, included overcrowding and increased transiency in neighborhoods, increasing housing costs or units being taken off the rental and ownership markets, and a negative impact on employment and hospitality industry due to the shift to STRs from traditional hotels.

Mayor Randy Holcomb said the village is trying to bring the village’s short-term rental code up to date.

Gaudioso said the permit process includes receiving a special-use permit which is valid for one year from the date of issuance. The permit will not be transferable to new owners. New owners will have to apply for a permit in which an inspection is part of the permit for enforcement purposes, and a payment registration for occupancy tax is required. There are potential location restrictions. Permits are prohibited in districts R-1, single family; R-3, mobile residential; and L-1, light industrial. Permits may be issued in districts, R-2, multiple family; B-1, retail business; B-2, highway, and B-2.1 overlay auto.

At their Oct. 9, 2023 meeting, village trustees voted to extend the short-term rental moratorium period that will be extended for another 180 days. The extension went into effect on Nov. 9, 2023.

In May 2022, the board adopted a moratorium on STRs in the village. Then, Holcomb said a moratorium gives the village time to review zoning regulations.

The law states “recent trend of existing residential structures being used by owners for the primary purpose of renting to short-term rental occupants has created the concern that the residential character and economic base of the village is threatened. The Board of Trustees hereby finds that more specific zoning provisions are appropriate to address this increasingly popular land use activity and that short term vacation rentals create conflicts with their residential neighbors, and have the potential to degrade residential neighborhoods by introducing crime, noise, parking congestion and other detrimental impacts while also adversely affecting the traditional neighborhood character that results from a community of owner-occupied properties.”

Other STR committee members include Robert Scott, Tammy Snyder, Sandy Calalesina, R.G. Witchey Jr., and Jack McCray.

To view the STR regulations draft, visit lakewoodny.com.


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