Lake Placid, North Elba to extend STR moratorium

Town releases draft of proposed STR regulations

LAKE PLACID — The village of Lake Placid and town of North Elba are planning to extend their moratoriums on the issuance of new short-term vacation rental permits by 90 days as the municipalities enter into the final stages of solidifying their new STR regulations.

The municipalities’ STR moratoriums started in March and were set to end in September, but town and village officials said they need some more time to set public hearings, to approve the new regulations, to work with their attorneys to finalize the legal language of the regulations, and to seek county approval of the regulations once they’re approved at the local level. Right now, the town’s moratorium is set to end on Sept. 10 and the village’s moratorium is expected to end on Sept. 30, but that is now likely to change. Village and town officials said they hope they won’t need the full 90-day extension, but they set it at 90 days because they want to avoid holding multiple public hearings for multiple extensions if they’re needed.

A public hearing is required before the town and village can extend their moratoriums. Neither the town or the village have scheduled hearings yet, though town Councilor Emily Kilburn Politi said the town plans to schedule a public hearing today at 9 a.m., during the town’s special meeting on STR regulations. People can attend the town’s STR meeting virtually at meet.goto.com/townofnorthelba/board-meeting. The village is also holding an STR meeting today at 3:30 p.m. on the second floor of the town hall. People can attend the meeting virtually at meet.goto.com/lpv.

While both the village and town boards are getting closer to agreeing on the direction they’d like to go with new STR regulations, the town is the only municipality to have released a draft of its proposed regulations. The two-page draft — which is still a proposal, not a law — is available on the town’s website at https://tinyurl.com/4zhub6rv.

Kilburn Politi said the town has heard a lot of feedback from the public since releasing the draft of their regulations, and she said Airbnb sent an email with the proposed regulations to all STR owners in the town encouraging them to show up at the town’s meeting today. The meeting will be open for public comment, and Kilburn Politi said the town will remain open to hearing feedback from the public after the meeting as the town works to finalize its regulations. She said that public feedback has the potential to change the town’s current draft of regulations.

“We always listen to people when they talk or send an email,” she said.

Village Mayor Art Devlin said that while today’s village meeting won’t be open to public comment, the village also plans to accept public comment at a future STR meeting that has yet to be scheduled.

The town is considering splitting the types of STR permits into two categories: “lodging” permits and “capped” permits. The town is also considering residential districts as areas where STRs aren’t “compatible” and where permits would no longer be issued.

Under the new system, there wouldn’t be a distinction between “hosted” and “unhosted” permits — the new permit system would instead focus on where permits would and wouldn’t be allowed according to zoning districts.


Lodging permits — which would be reserved for STRs in street-facing lots in the Old Military corridor and the gateway corridor, existing condominiums and townhomes, and the Whiteface Inn planned development — would be unlimited both in the total amount of permits that could be issued across those districts and the number of nights that an STR could be rented per year within those districts. However, if the proposed regulations pass, permits in the town would be limited to one permit per property with the exception of lots with road frontage in the gateway corridor, where the number of permits per property would be unlimited.

The lodging permits come with a few caveats. STR owners in the Whiteface Inn development and in existing condos and townhomes would have to be part of their development’s homeowners association to qualify for a permit, and STR owners in the gateway corridor and Old Military Road corridor would have to have lots with road frontage to qualify for a permit. STRs in the gateway corridor or Old Military Road corridor that don’t have road frontage would be considered part of the “capped” permit district.


If the town moves forward with its draft STR regulations, there would be a total of 190 STR permits allowed in what the town is calling “capped” districts — the rural countryside, the North Lake and South Lake districts, lots without road frontage in the Old Military Road corridor and the gateway corridor, and units in the Whiteface Inn development or existing townhomes and condos that aren’t part of a homeowners association.

The Deerwood Hills development in the rural countryside district would be one exception from the cap. Under the proposed STR regulations, the town would rezone Deerwood Hills into the town residential district, which would be considered a “non-compatible district” for STRs.

People with STRs in capped permit districts would have to rent out their STR for a minimum of 14 days per calendar year to keep their permits.

There would also be a waitlist established for the capped districts; once the cap is reached, anyone else in the capped districts who wants an STR permit would have to apply to be placed on a waitlist. People applying for the waitlist would have to be the owner of the prospective STR, and the sale of the property would remove that prospective STR from the waitlist. The waitlist would be a public document available on the town’s website.


The town is considering the town residential district, the village residential district within the town and residential developments — such as Fawn Valley, the Peaks at Lake Placid, MacKenzie Overlook and Fawn Ridge — as areas that aren’t compatible with STRs.

No new STR permits would be issued in these districts if the town sticks with its draft. Existing STR permit-owners in non-compatible districts would still be allowed to keep their STR permits until there’s a change in ownership of that property. That would include any change, according to the town’s draft, including into a new trust or to new members of the LLC that owns that property.

Administrative changes

Under the proposed regulations, permits in the town would be valid for one year and would have to be renewed annually. People would be required to “clearly and prominently” display their permit number when advertising their STR online. STR owners would also have to include a link to the town’s “good neighbor policy” and list the number of allowable parking spaces on the property.

The draft states that penalties for violations to the STR law would become civil offenses. Failure to pay fines would result in fines and fees being attached to the property through a lien, or attached to the property tax bill.

The town would list all of its current STR permits biannually on the town’s Building and Planning Department webpage. The document would include the permit number, the owner’s name and the property address.


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