With STRs, that ship has sailed
To the editor:
That ship has sailed. That train has left the station. We missed the boat. This is what I feel when I read about the Saranac Lake Village Board’s discussions regarding short term rentals. There are several new STRs near me being developed right now, including an apartment building where all the previous tenants were evicted.
I live in the village by choice, having sold our previous home outside the village. Over the last 26 years that I have owned my home, yeah, it has been difficult to pay the taxes — village, town and school — but the value of having a community is more important. I do recognize my perspective is not what the current culture sees. My home is my home, not an investment. I am fortunate to have a home. I want to continue to have neighbors who know me, look out for me and appreciate what we have together. An investment is not a home. Wringing-out profit as an STR turns a home into commercial property, period. And all those existing STRs in residential areas? They are in violation of zoning as commercial properties. Use the laws we have!
Step up, stop the rhetoric. Be bold, save our village community. I have paid more for residential building permits over the years than the proposed STR fee of $200. Whoa … stop the train! Just look at Lake Placid and Lake George. Not that difficult, unless you are only concerned with money and not community.
Mary Agnes Pelletieri
Editor’s note: While the village board previously proposed an annual STR permit fee of $100-200, as of this month, the village board has been discussing possible fees ranging from $500-2,500. The board has not yet adopted an STR permit system.