Village Eyes New regulations on short-term rentals | News, Sports, Jobs

Village of Lakewood PJ file photo

LAKEWOOD – They are billed as tranquil retreats with idyllic views of Lake Chautauqua. A quick check of Lakewood properties available for short-term rental reveals a handful of options.

However, citing the need to review the zoning regulations for these dwellings after receiving numerous complaints, Lakewood Village Council is considering a one-year moratorium on new applications from landlords seeking to rent their properties to visitors for short periods.

Council members at a meeting this week discussed the moratorium, which would come in the form of local law to be discussed at a public hearing on May 9.

The proposed local law notes the “The recent trend of existing residential structures being used by landlords for the primary purpose of renting to short-term rental occupants has created concern that the residential character and economic base of the village may be under threat.”

He continues by saying: “The Board hereby concludes that more specific zoning provisions are appropriate to deal with this increasingly popular land use activity and that short term vacation rentals are creating conflict with their neighbors and have the potential to degrade residential neighborhoods by introducing crime, noise, parking congestion, and other adverse effects while detracting from the traditional character of the neighborhood that results from a community of owner-occupied properties. »

The number of short-term rentals in Lakewood is unclear; a dozen throughout the village were available for hire Wednesday on a single website listing.

Lakewood Mayor Randy Holcomb said the village’s assistant clerk was trying to identify all of the rentals. He said the proposed moratorium was the result of complaints received by village officials.

“There were many, many locals who came and said, ‘You have to put something in place,'” he added. he said. “Every week we receive additional complaints. (Rentals) can be a good thing and it can be traumatic.

Holcomb said the village was not trying to end short-term rentals; He said the moratorium will give officials time to review zoning regulations that largely don’t address rentals.

“We are not trying to stop them” he said. “We just want to get some solid zoning on them.”

Specifically, the moratorium would limit any new short-term rental occupancy in three village zoning districts: single-family residential, multi-family and mobile residential. In addition, it would prevent owners from applying for a permit to turn their house into a short-term rental.

A moratorium would allow the village to conduct surveys and studies of the tenancies and examine its impacts on the community.

Properties already used as short-term rentals in Lakewood would not be affected by the proposed local law.

Talks of a moratorium come after three people, including a minor, were charged after drugs and weapons were found in a village residence used as a rental. The Lakewood-Busti Police Department said it received a complaint from individuals illegally staying at the rental when 26 grams of methamphetamine, 5 grams of cocaine and a loaded 9mm Sig Sauer pistol were discovered inside.

Holcomb said the proposed local law was being drafted when the arrests were made. He said he has reached out to mayors and supervisors of municipalities around the water bodies — Lake Chautauqua, Lake Erie and Lake Findley — to discuss short-term rentals and what they experienced.

Municipal governments across the country have been discussing what, if anything, to do with short-term rentals. Some argue that industry regulations are preventing landlords from taking full advantage of their properties, while others say short-term rentals are eating away at the open housing market.

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