Editorial: City plan for short-term rentals a good one – Plattsburgh Press Republican

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The City of Plattsburgh’s recently-adopted plans for short-term rentals is a good compromise.

Short-term rentals have been a popular trend across the nation and globe in recent years, and it only makes sense to implement some kind of regulations.

If not, problems can occur and there would be no recourse to correct them.

The city last week, actually adopted two local laws that will create a short-term rental registry and a vacant building registry.

Property owners will now be required to obtain an annual permit, starting March 1, 2024, to operate a short-term rental in the city. This will also apply to those who own vacant buildings in the city as well.

To obtain a permit, property owners will have to undergo an inspection of the property to ensure it meets several safety regulations.

As Mayor Chris Rosenquest said, it feels like a balanced approach to a hot button topic.

Councilor Elizabeth Gibbs (D-Ward 3) raised concerns about how such new laws would be enforced. She was particularly concerned about how much enforcing these laws could burden the Building Inspector’s which would be responsible for initiating enforcement.

A valid concern for sure and not unusual for the city.

Years ago, when the city was discussing changes to their towing ordinance for vehicles left on roads and public places during snow emergencies, enforcement was a concern. Some councilors were hesitant to make changes because of those concerns.

In the end, a plan was worked out between City Police and the administration and the laws were changed. Yes, there were a few bumps in the road the first few snowstorms, but eventually they got smoothed out, and today, it would be hard to find someone who lives in the city that doesn’t know that they need to move their cars if it snows hard.

The mayor said the city already enforces property laws regarding zoning codes and regulations, and has for years. He likened the new short-term rental laws to extensions of existing property those laws and noted that enforcement will continue.

Let’s certainly hope so because a law with no teeth can become another problem for the city to deal with.

New laws like these can of course be tweaked as time goes on and experience dictates. As the mayor said, enforcing a law can be considered a challenge, but it should not be an unapproachable hurdle.

While the city has set the table for short-term rental properties, it will also be up to local property owners to help make the situation workable for everyone.

We all know that there are landlords out there that will take advantage of any loophole they can in order to avoid following regulations and make a quick buck.

But we also know that there are many good and decent property owners out there who want to do the right thing.

Renting out properties short-term can be a nice side gig for many folks, as well as create options for visitors.

Why shouldn’t they have that opportunity, provided they play by the rules.

This post was originally published on this site

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