Unable to reach a consensus on how to manage short-term rentals, Greenport’s code committee, which met before the work session, will open the discussion to the public before inking any draft legislation.
After a 40-minute discussion Tuesday, code committee members reached an impasse on controlling short-term rentals, which have been on the rise nationwide in the wake of websites like airbnb.com, which allow homeowners to rent their homes out for as little as a weekend.
During the meeting, members cited ongoing complaints from officials and residents that said these hotel-like operations in private homes are disrupting otherwise quiet neighborhoods. Concerns range from stressing police and fire resources and to limiting year-round housing stock for people who work in the village.
“What happens to the people that grew up in Greenport and want a place to rent?” asked committee member David Corwin, also a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals. “And what happens to the character of the community when you don’t know your neighbors? I don’t see it as a positive thing.”
On the other hand, Peter Clarke, president of the Greenport Business Improvement District, said that if short-term rentals could be properly regulated, it could help local store owners. He suggested the village get an updated inventory of the type of housing that exists in the village and perhaps allow such rentals in certain districts within the village.
The Village Board plans to invite the public to join the discussion in February and March. The code committee is hoping to start drafting regulations in April.