Lloyd makes changes to STR law

By Mark Reynolds
Posted 2/27/24

Last week the Lloyd Town Board was criticized for proposed changes to the Short Term Rental [STR] law that has been under consideration for more than a month.

Supervisor Dave Plavchak explained …

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Lloyd makes changes to STR law


Last week the Lloyd Town Board was criticized for proposed changes to the Short Term Rental [STR] law that has been under consideration for more than a month.

Supervisor Dave Plavchak explained the reason for the changes.

“The STR law was implemented in October 2022 and prior to that they weren’t regulated, there were no safety inspections, no occupancy tax collected and neighbors were not aware,” he said.

Plavchak said the proposal is to change some definitions, “within the law that we felt would make it more effective.”

Resident Joan Kelly questioned why the board would approve short term rentals in a residence with more than two dwelling units when this is prohibited by New York State law and disapproved by the Ulster County Planning Board.

According to the New York State Multiple Dwelling Law, short term rentals are illegal in Class A multiple dwellings, which includes virtually all residential multi-family buildings. Violating these regulations can result in fines ranging from $1,000 to $7,500. Additionally, advertising an apartment in a Class A multiple dwelling (typically a building with three or more permanent residential units) for rent for less than 30 days is also prohibited.

Kelly also asked why the Town Board would approve a restriction in the number of guests, “without mechanism to enforce it or in fact any other provision in the short term rental code?”

Robert Pardy said he spoke with a neighbor, who lives opposite an approved STR on Tina Drive, who told him about the drunken parties that take place there and of speeding cars on the street.

Pardy said his worst fears about STRs are coming true.

“We’re going to have people there that are not going to really be enhancements to our neighborhood, which is a cul-du-sac,” he said. “In addition, we do have people from out of town who think 30mph is just a guesstimate.”

Pardy pointed out that this Short Term Rental is owned by someone from New Jersey and is monitored by someone who lives in Kingston. Plavchak said this is allowed by the STR law, but Pardy pointed out, “That really doesn’t do us any good versus when it’s an Air bnb by an owner who is on the property.”

At the time the STR law was developed the requirement that an owner must live on the property was dropped.

Adam Kane said he attended meetings on STRs before permits were issued, “when it was originally discussed and all the issues that I thought were going to become issues have become issues.”

Kane said there is a STR by him that lies on a right of way and is not on their own driveway, which directly impacts him, “as we hear it is impacting other people also.” He has found his driveway often blocked and additionally there are maintenance and liability issues, pointing out that the person responsible lives in New York City, “and has someone monitoring it from far away.” He said this allows for no onsite accountability and it has impacted his life, causing, “a hardship for me at this point.”

Kane said he has his own STR and was careful when he opened it to be considerate of his neighbors, “and to make sure that I didn’t impact anybody’s lives.”

Bruce Epperson distributed to the board the Recommendations that the Ulster County Planning Board [UCPB] sent to the Town Board on January 3, 2024 concerning this issue as well as his own summary of the county’s comments. He said of the UCPBs three mandatory recommendations or rejections only one pertained to the town’s proposed changes – allowing STRs at multifamily sites/buildings with four or fewer units. The UCPB recommended that the town delete this proposed change.

In their 9/7/22 letter to the town, the UCPB stated they are, “pleased to see that the use of multi-family buildings for short term rentals will be prohibited,” but notes that the town’s current proposed law, “backtracks from this prohibition and removes the prohibition on parcels used for commercial or industrial purposes.”

Supervisor Plavchak has indicated that he will seek a super-majority vote [4 of 5] of the Town Board to override the county’s required modification. Epperson pointed out that if there are not four affirmative votes the matter goes back to the Planning Board for reconsideration and coordination with the UCPB.

“Why fight the county when you don’t have to fight the county?” Epperson asked. “It’s not a political matter; it’s a technical planing matter. Save yourself headaches down the road [and] iron it out now.”