Kendall sets hearing for 7 p.m. Tuesday for proposed laws on short-term rentals

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 January 2023 at 3:36 pm

KENDALL – The Town Board is giving the community a chance to comment on two proposed laws to regulate short-term rentals, such as Airbnbs and Vrbo.

The 7 p.m. hearing on Tuesday has been moved from the town hall to the Kendall Junior-Senior High School at 16887 Roosevelt Highway (Route 18).

The town is trying to regulate the short-term rentals after many complaints from neighbors of some of the sites. Neighbors have concerns about noise at night from parties, trespassing and garbage that isn’t picked up.

The town doesn’t want to allow any new short-term rentals in the waterfront districts north of the Lake Ontario State Parkway. The existing rentals, about 8 to 10, would be grandfathered in and could continue to operate.

Kendall is proposing an annual $1,000 annual licensing fee with the town, and wants to require those property owners have a $3 million liability insurance.

The Orleans County Planning Board last month voted against the proposed regulations, with some of the members saying Kendall went too far in the proposal and left some matters as too vague, such as what is the threshold for being too noisy.

The short-term rentals have become more popular since the start of the Covid pandemic, especially in 2020 and 2021 with many people from cities renting homes for weekend getaways.

Some of the highlights of the proposed laws in Kendall include:

  • Kendall will continue to allow the pre-existing short-term rentals, but will prohibit them at a location if they are discontinued for six months.
  • Transient occupancy considered when living or sleeping accommodation provided for compensation for less than 30 continuous calendar days
  • No new transient or short-term rentals allowed in the waterfront districts, excluding bed and breakfasts which require a separate special use permit.
  • All applications for a short-term rental license need to include site plans for the property with parking spaces, property lines, driveways and outdoor gathering areas, such as patios and decks.
  • The town also wants to see floor plans containing the areas for transient space, a list of the owner(s) of the property as well as the manager with contact information, the number of permanent residents at the site (if any), the number of available parking spaces for transient use, a copy of the house rules provided to transients, and a list of neighbors within 150 feet of the property.
  • The short-term rental owner needs to pay $1,000 to apply for the license and then $1,000 for each annual renewal.
  • The town can enact penalties for violations that could include improper property maintenance – exposed garbage or litter on premises, failure to return trash containers to their storage location on the day of pickup, failure to maintain property or grounds in a neat and orderly fashion, parking vehicles in undesignated spots such as the lawn, parties that exceed the number of people authorized to be there in the license, failure to adhere to quiet hour restrictions between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m., occurrence of excessive noise or nuisances at any other time, and occurrences of transients trespassing on other properties.
  • A maximum of two people per sleeping or no more than 8 people total in the STR.
  • No recreational vehicles, campers, trailers or motor vehicles larger than a one-ton pickup truck, other than trailers for boats or jet skis to be launched at nearby ramps.
  • The locations used as rentals shall not have exterior signage indicating they are a rental. The short-term rentals “shall from all exterior indications be indistinguishable from any conventional dwelling.”
  • Owners of the rentals need to provide proof to the town of general liability insurance of at least $3 million with respect to personal injury or death, and at least $300,000 with respect to property damage.
  • The owner needs to provide proof to the town that the septic system is in good working order and has been pumped in the last three years (for sites not on a central sewer system.)
  • Any violations can result in maximum fines of $3,000, with each continued violation a separate and additional offense.