3-night minimum might not happen for short-term rental regulations

LAKE PLACID — One of the provisions of the short-term rental regulations recently proposed by the Lake Placid Village Board of Trustees and the North Elba Town Council is a three-night minimum stay for renters, which has sparked questioning among rental property owners and local residents.

In a previous interview, North Elba town Supervisor Roby Politi said the idea for the three-night minimum came from a tendency for noise complaints to happen at vacation rentals with guests staying for one to two nights, usually during big events.

In a phone interview Thursday, Politi said he heard that information from local police Chief Bill Moore.

“There’s no hard and fast data,” Moore said in a phone interview Thursday. “It more just our officers talking about it. It’s been our experience that the shorter rentals like weekend stays for the (Lake Placid Summit Classic) lacrosse tournament or the (CanAm) Rugby tournament is where noise complaints happen. It’s not every one. We found that when someone rents for a week, it’s typically a family and we don’t have those types of issues.”

Politi said he’s also noticed it with the vacation rentals he manages for his company Merrill L. Thomas Real Estate.

“I personally see it in my own business when people are here for the weekend for big events,” he said.

Lake Placid’s Assistant Police Chief Chuck Dobson said it would be difficult to quantify complaints associated to one-to-two-night rentals. When responding to noise complaints or other issues, the department doesn’t track how long a person is staying at a vacation rental, he said.

“People have actually asked us about that before,” he said. “About the only time we would have knowledge of that is if the homeowner or real estate company was trying to evict temporary guests. We don’t tend to ask, ‘How many nights are you here?'”

It’s protocol to record the address of a police call, but Dobson said they don’t track whether it’s a short-term rental, a hotel or residence.

The three-night minimum seemed to be on the forefront of most people’s minds during the public hearing on short-term rental regulations at the Lake Placid Conference Center Thursday, Jan. 24.

Rudy Younger, a short-term rental owner, is just one of many who disagree with that reasoning behind the three-night minimum.

“When you look at the three-night minimum, where is the data behind it?” Younger said in a previous interview. “We’d like to see some evidence or conclusive data; otherwise you’re putting limits in place with no logic behind them.”

Sarah Galvin, co-owner of the Bookstore Plus on Main Street, doesn’t use her home as a vacation rental, but she, too, said she doesn’t agree with the three-night minimum.

Politi said he’s confident both boards listened to the public and will adjust the regulations accordingly.

“My feeling is that, based upon what I heard, that provision is probably not going to go in the final law,” he added. “There’s probably going to be a lot of modifications made to clear up language and so forth.”

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