Hearing set on short-term rental law

An Airbnb rental on Main Street in Lake Placid is located in the same complex as the Coldwell Banker Whitbeck Associates real estate agency. (Enterprise photo — Griffin Kelly)

LAKE PLACID — A proposed law that would regulate short-term vacation rentals here is headed for a public hearing.

The new law would require those who rent out their properties on sites such as Airbnb, VRBO and HomeAway to apply for and secure a permit, limit the number of visitors who stay there and ensure there’s adequate off-street parking to serve those visitors.

If property owners don’t, they’d be subject to a fine of $350 to $1,000, or up to 15 days in jail, according to the law.

There are currently at least 706 active short-term rental properties in Lake Placid, according to Airdna, a platform that aggregates online vacation rental data from Airbnb and HomeAway. Those include both private rooms, shared rooms and entire homes.

Local officials have been discussing potential regulations that may stem the tide of short-term rentals and mitigate their impacts in residential areas for months. Putting a temporary moratorium on new vacation rentals has been discussed, but it isn’t part of this proposal.

North Elba town Supervisor Roby Politi said residents have been sending him photos of short-term rental properties where upward of 12 cars were parked outside, so many that some cars parked on the street.

“The law as proposed would curtail that type of activity,” Politi said.

Controversial measures proposed in the past, such as a minimum three-day stay requirement, are absent from the current proposal.

A public hearing on the latest draft of the legislation is slated for 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 26 on the second floor of the Lake Placid Conference Center.

The details

The law would apply to any property that’s rented for fewer than 30 consecutive nights, excluding hotels, bed and breakfasts, rooming houses and school or nonprofit dorms.

Permits would be valid for two years and may be subject to a fine in the future, but the fine amount isn’t outlined in this local law. A fee structure would likely be passed separately to allow more flexibility to change the figure in the future, according to Politi. Permits wouldn’t be transferable when a property is sold.

The maximum number of people allowed in any vacation rental would be determined by the number of bedrooms.

Studio apartments would have a limit of two occupants for the first 220 square feet and an additional occupant for each additional 100 square feet. For a two-bedroom unit, a maximum of six people would be allowed to sleep there, and no more than 12 can be there in the daytime. A maximum of 10 people at night and 20 in the daytime would be allowed in four-bedroom units. Six bedroom homes will have a maximum of 14 occupants at night and 28 in the daytime.

Off-street parking would be required for all rentals apart from those located along Main Street between the Saranac Avenue intersection and the post office. One off-street parking space, not including those in garages, would be required for each bedroom. No more than six vehicles would be allowed.

All rentals would be required to have a meter for water and sewer service provided by the village. Property owners would be required to have a local contact person who lives within 30 minutes of the property and is available 24 hours per day, who can respond to complaints within 60 minutes.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $4.75/week.

Subscribe Today