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Greenport Village eyes permits for all rentals

The Greenport Village Board has scheduled a public hearing on a revision to its residential rental permit law. The change would scale back some of the requirements in the original 2013 legislation and require every residential rental property — including short-term rentals — to have a rental permit.

According to Mayor George Hubbard Jr., the new proposal will eliminate a lot of the paperwork required in the current law and will just require any rental property in Greenport to obtain a rental permit and an inspection. Owners would also need to pay a $100 biannual fee.

The Village Board discussed the law at its work session last Thursday, when Trustee Doug Roberts questioned the need for the 2013 rental permit requirement.

“We need to decide if we’re behind it or not,” he said. “If we are behind it, we should be giving violations to people who don’t have the permit, and if we’re not behind it we should get rid of it.”

Mr. Roberts said there was no evidence that anyone had complained about rentals in the village’s code enforcement report.

Mr. Hubbard said the village had done inspections in the past and had gotten violations corrected on some rental properties but the building inspector at the time no longer works for the village. A new inspector is undergoing training and should be ready to conduct inspections by May.

The current law requires the legal residence of each owner, and in the event that the owner is a corporation, partnership limited-liability company, or other business entity, it requires the name, proof of legal residence, and telephone number of each owner, officer, principal shareholder, partner and/or member of such business entity. The law also required a floor plan of each rental unit, a certificate of occupancy, and a deed confirming ownership, among other things.

Mr. Roberts said some property owners told him they stopped doing year-round rentals and began doing short-term rentals because of the amount of paperwork involved in complying with village law.

The village has discussed enacting a law for rentals of fewer than 30 days in an attempt to regulate short-term rentals made through websites like Airbnb, but has never approved it.

The hearing will take place during the Feb. 23 Village Board meeting, which starts at 7 p.m. in the Third Street firehouse.

Mr. Hubbard said village attorney Joe Prokop is writing up the exact language of the proposed revisions, which will be posted on the village website before the hearing.

Planning Board vacancy filled

Greenport’s Planning Board is back to its full five members, as the Village Board last Thursday appointed Noah Thomas to the vacancy left by the recent resignation of Peter Jauquet. Mr. Hubbard said the Planning Board has been unable to meet in recent weeks because it lacked a quorum of at least three members.

Mr. Thomas, who is best known for organizing the annual Turkey Trot 5K race for charity, runs a company called PYLOT, which stands for Put Your Logo On That, and specializes in putting corporating branding on things like tee shirts, Mr. Roberts said.

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