Airline B&Bs, or short-term rentals in general, have been a frustrating topic to write regulations about. A discussion of regulations to cover them heated up at a Saugerties Village Council meeting on Monday, July 18.

Code enforcement officer Eyal Saad offered the board some guidelines he had found in most of the laws he had read regarding short-term rentals. “I looked at the regulations of the municipalities that have regulations for bed and breakfasts. They talk about occupant safety, they talk about property aesthetics, and last but not least, parking. Saad reminded the board that in the year the matter was discussed, “we have received no complaints about Air B&Bs. Zero complaints.

Several council members immediately responded that a number of Saugerties town residents had indeed complained about noise and trespassing, but Saad replied that what the town is doing is “not my problem. “.

“I’ve had a lot of complaints about Air B&Bs,” said trustee Donald Hackett. “I brought them to you and we talked about them.”

“You talk about parking,” Saad said. Although he didn’t say there weren’t any problems, he reiterated that he hadn’t received any official complaints. “So you want people to give you documented complaints now. Good; I’ll have a whole bunch for you at the end of the week.

Saad reiterated that he had not received any formal complaints, but “I’m not saying it’s not a problem. Whoever called us, other than what we talked about, said he would have liked to change his house to Air B&B.

Saad said the problems he discovered while investigating other cities should be included in the law. While he’s willing to consult with board members and others involved in drafting legislation, he doesn’t think that should be his decision.

“A board committee should sit down and say this is what we want, and this is what we don’t want,” Saad said. “Usually the laws are based on the needs of the community and here there are no real needs. Occupant safety is governed by New York State Code. Aesthetic? If the property is a dump, Air B&B will not put it on the market, so the property must be well maintained. We can fix that in law and fix parking in law, but I don’t see how we can maintain that law. We can put a law on the books, but if it’s not enforceable or it’s not being applied properly, then why should we put it on the books. While the immediate need is parking, occupant safety is his priority, Saad said.

Administrator Jeff Helmet said Air B&B has removed residences from its list of approved properties.

“Do people come to do inspections?” asked administrator Vince Buono. Saad said he doesn’t know how Air B&B maintains its standards, but occupant safety is covered by state building codes.

“How are building codes handled at your place? Saad replied.

“But it’s a business,” Buono said. If a family lives in a house and decides to use part of the house as an Air B&B, “to me, it’s not a single-family house anymore; it is a two-family house. Under current law, if a house is converted to a multifamily, the owner must notify the village. Hackett said the owner might not view the conversion as a two-family home, just “it’s a B&B now.”

Trustee Jeannine Mayer pointed out that while board members and Saad use the term “Air B&B,” there are other businesses in the business. She suggested “short term rental” as a more inclusive term.

Mayor Bill Murphy said council passed an ordinance several years ago requiring that if someone who does not live in the village rents their home, they must designate a resident of the village to receive complaints, “and that worked pretty well. I’m sure there are people who don’t [register]but if we put something together and send it out, I’m sure we’ll get honest people saying, “I have an Air B&B and I need to sign up.”

The issue of a charge for short-term rental accommodation was raised, and council members agreed that none of the municipalities that are developing laws to cover short-term rentals have found solutions. However, Hackett pointed out that “I pay the same tax rate as the five Air B&Bs that take up all the parking in the whole area.” The council agreed that parking is the big issue, although it’s not just short-term rentals, but a village-wide issue. However, short-term rentals compound the problem and their contribution needs to be addressed.

Saad suggested that a committee discussing the law could focus on the three topics he had identified; a board member suggested adding noise to the list. Buono suggested adding curfew to the list.

The committee should include residents other than committee members, council agreed. Helmuth said he would like to see customers of Air B&B customers on the committee. People who operate Air B&Bs could also sit on the committee or act as advisers, the directors said.

After the meeting, Hackett said anyone interested in serving on the committee could contact him by email., [email protected].