Southold eyes fall to set short-term rental laws

04/21/2015 1:51 PM |
Greenport vacation homes advertised earlier this year on airbnb.com.

Greenport vacation homes advertised earlier this year on airbnb.com.

The Southold Town Board hopes to have legislation regulating short-term rentals on the books by the fall.

For months the town has been in the process of legislating short-term rentals, which have been causing concern amid a growing number of websites such as Airbnb.com that allow homeowners to lease their houses for as little as one or two nights.

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Most recently, they spoke on the topic during a code committee meeting in March. Officials were satisfied with the majority of the draft’s legislation, but struggled to determine the minimum number of days renters must stay at a home for the lease to be considered legal.

At Tuesday’s work session, members had still not settled on whether the minimum number of days should be set at seven or 14.

But to move the legislation to the public hearing phase, members agreed the draft law should require a seven-day minimum, but stressed that timeframe isn’t set in stone and elements of the legislation could change based on public comment at upcoming meetings.

“I want to hear what the people have to say; because they are a key part of this,” said Councilman Bill Ruland.

The legislation would go into effect 60 days after board approval.

That would be just in time for the start of the fall season, if the members approve the law in June as members say they expect to do.

The board on Tuesday night plans to hold the first public hearing on the draft legislation on June 2.

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