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Short-term rental rules have problems

To the editor:

We are Tom and Emily Rath, our family lives full time at 15 Maple St., Lake Placid. We have a lovely little cottage on our property that we rent to visiting guests. We’ve had hundreds of five-star reviews from those same travelers and have never had a complaint from our neighbors. We personally greet our arriving guests, assure they understand the rules and give them our personal cell numbers should any questions or issues arise. 

Being “innkeepers” is something we are passionate about. The opportunity to tell the next guest about our favorite hike, a great local restaurant, what to do on a rainy day, or to give them directions to Donnelly’s simply excites us. We love the Adirondacks and want to share our experiences here with as many people as we can.

We simply can’t promise our elected officials that we’ll be home by 10 p.m. or still in bed come 6 a.m. We didn’t decide to live, work and raise our family here to be under a curfew.

Our little boys love to fish. We can’t predict the weather in advance on the days our cottage has been rented. On warm summer nights we like to stay at our modest camp on Oseetah Lake in order to get on the dock with our bait and poles at first light. We are not willing to disappoint our children or possibly not create a lasting childhood memory to race home. Sorry.

Emily works long shifts as a pharmacist here in Lake Placid and often doesn’t get home until after 8 p.m. A last-minute and much-needed “adult night” for us can sometimes keep us out until midnight. Sacrificing dinner and a movie with each other is not an option. Again, sorry.

We recently learned that under the current land use code, renting our lovely little cottage short term is technically not allowed because it is an “accessory dwelling.” However, I can now get a permit to instead rent our larger home. What sense does any of this this make? What you generously carved out for local hosts on the current draft needs to address this issue now. Continuing to kick the can down the road is not acceptable for our family.

We fully support sensible legislation. Curfews on hard-working local hosts and new laws that contradict existing nonsensical codes won’t work. 

Tom and Emily Rath

Lake Placid

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