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K’hook ready to regulate short-term rentals


KINDERHOOK–The Village Board will hold a public hearing on a proposed short-term rental (STR) law April 8 at 7:15 p.m., before their next regular meeting.

The board had been looking into regulating STRs, like the ones offered on the Airbnb website, for over a year. The matter was raised by former village Code Enforcement Officer (CEO) Glenn Smith, who asked about having some way to inspect the properties that were already being used as STRs.

At a meeting in January of 2019, Mr. Smith said there are standards for bed and breakfast establishments and for long-term rentals in the village code but not short-term rentals. “We’re pretty much talking about Airbnb.” he said. He wants to look into safety issues in the homes, and whether there could be an impact on village water and sewer services.

“I don’t want to eliminate them, I just want them to be inspected,” he told the board at the time.

Current CEO Peter Bujanow, who took over the job after Mr. Smith resigned last fall, echoed the concern over being able to inspect the properties, saying at a meeting in January, “Safety is the primary concern.”

At that same January 2020 meeting, Village Mayor Jim Dunham said of the proposed local law, “We’ve tried to keep it as simple as we can.”

The proposal says that the owner of the property will need to apply for a permit to have an STR with the village building inspector/CEO. “The application shall contain information sufficient for the Building Inspector to review the property condition,” the proposed law reads. A short-term rental unit is defined in the proposed law as “a dwelling unit that is rented to a party for 30 continuous days or less.” The proposal also says that once the CEO deems the application complete it “shall be reviewed and approved by the Planning Board.”

Included in the proposal is a requirement for a local contact person: “The owner shall provide to the village at the time of permit application and thereafter as necessary, current contact information for the local contact person.” The local contact person must reside within 20 miles of the STR and be available at all times “for the purpose of responding to complaints regarding the condition, operation, or conduct of occupants” of the STR.

The total number of bedrooms on the STR premises shall not exceed the number indicated on the certificate of occupancy and the number of occupants can not exceed the number indicated on the permit issued, according to the proposed regulations.

As for penalties, the proposed law says that “any person, entity or owner who shall knowingly violate any of the applicable provisions of this article” can be subject to a fine of $250.

The board had planned to have the public hearing on the law in March, but it was delayed due to the mandatory review by the County Planning Board.

The next regular Village Board meeting will be March 11 at 7:30 p.m. at the Village Hall at 6 Chatham Street (Route 9).

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email

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