North Elba eyes second extension of vacation rental permit pause

LAKE PLACID — The North Elba Town Council is considering extending its moratorium on the issuance of new short-term vacation rental permits a second time.

The town council — along with the Lake Placid Village Board of Trustees — adopted a six-month STR moratorium in March with the goal of giving councilors time to concentrate on reworking the town’s STR regulations. Councilors added a three-month extension to the moratorium in September to buy more time to conduct a public hearing for the regulations and file them into law. Now, councilors believe they may need even more time to solidify the new STR regulations.

The town’s moratorium was originally set to end in September. With the first three-month extension, the moratorium expiration was moved to Dec. 10. Now, councilors are proposing to extend the moratorium by another month and three weeks — through Jan. 31, 2023, a little over a week after the 2023 World University Games end.

The town council will hold a public hearing on the proposed moratorium extension at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 28 in the North Elba Town Hall. People can also attend the hearing virtually at www.gotomeet.me/townofnorthelba/board-meeting.

Why another extension?

The town and village are holding a joint hearing on their new draft of STR regulations on Nov. 29. Town Councilor Emily Kilburn Politi said that if people at the hearing share valuable feedback about the regulations, town councilors want to have enough time to make any necessary adjustments to the proposed STR law. If the town sees no need for changes to the draft law after the hearing, Kilburn Politi said, the town and village would “most likely” have their new STR law in place by early to mid-December. The town and village boards have the power to end their moratoriums whenever they are ready to, and town Supervisor Derek Doty hopes the second moratorium extension would only act as a failsafe.

“If we’re lucky, everything will fall into place and we won’t need it at all,” Doty said.

The village added a three-month extension to its moratorium in September along with the town, but the village hasn’t made any moves to extend its moratorium again. Village Mayor Art Devlin thought that the village would have time to extend its moratorium after the STR public hearing if trustees feel they need to reapproach the draft STR regulations. The village’s moratorium is now set to end on Dec. 31.

If the town does end up needing its full moratorium extension through the end of January 2023, no one in the town without an existing STR permit would be able to apply for one ahead of the 2023 FISU Winter World University Games, unless they’re granted an exception. So far, three people in the town have applied for exceptions from the moratorium, and no one has been approved for one yet.

Doty said he hasn’t heard any concerns that organizing committees for the Games are “coming up short on housing” for Games participants and attendees.

“To my knowledge, our current housing market for guests is meeting the demand,” Doty said.


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