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Revised short-term rental proposal gets new hearing

Green port Village’s latest proposed short-term rental law is pretty cut and dry.

“If you have a two-family house and it’s owner-occupied, you’re allowed to have a short-term rental,” Mayor George Hubbard Jr. said following an uneventful 19-minute Village Board meeting Thursday. “If you have a two-family house and it’s rented as a long-term rental, you’re allowed to have a short-term rental. Besides that, you can’t just buy a house and make it into two short-term rentals. You’re not going to be allowed to do that anymore in the village.”

That’s assuming the new proposal passes, Mr. Hubbard said.

The village already requires all residential rentals to obtain a permit from the village, and to be inspected, but the village doesn’t have a law specific to short-term rentals, which is defined as a rental of 14 days or less.

A prior version of the proposed law would have allowed someone to have a short-term rental without one of the units being owner-occupied or occupied by a “long-term” renter — which is defined as 100 days — so long as it received conditional approval from the village Planning Board.

Opponents of that provision said at a 90-minute public hearing in July that they felt it gave too much discretion to the Planning Board and could lead to lawsuits over why the Planning Board might allow one short-term rental and not another.

The Village Board on Thursday voted to schedule a new public hearing on the new version of the short-term rental law. That hearing is scheduled for Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. in the Greenport Firehouse on Third Street.

The new hearing is needed before the board can adopt the new proposal, since it made changes to the proposal that previously went to public hearing on July 26.

At that hearing, opponents said short-term rentals are using up available housing stock; are not required to adhere to the same building and safety standards as hotels or bed and breakfasts and put a commercial use in residential areas, among other concerns.

Those who supported allowing short-term rentals said the extra income is often the only way some people can afford to live in Greenport; and that short-term rentals help the economy by bringing people to the village who might not be able to afford a longer stay.

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