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Town of Delaware drafts short-term rental regulations

The new law, which will apply to AirBnBs in the town, will be up for public comment next month.

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TOWN OF DELAWARE, NY — The Town of Delaware board will hold a special meeting at 6:40 p.m. September 11 to allow public comment on new regulations for short-term rentals. Though the regulations, once passed, will apply to all short-term units, they are specifically designed as a response to the influx of Airbnbs in the area.

There are nearly 600 Airbnb units in Sullivan County, and roughly 50 within the Town of Delaware. The draft of the law as is will require short-term rental owners to acquire a license for their properties within 90 days of the law’s passing.

The code puts limits on how many people can occupy one bedroom (two) and requires Health Department approval if more than 10 people occupy the property. Additionally, the code limits the size of bedrooms, the number of vehicles allowed on the property, holds rental owners responsible for limiting disturbances and prohibits camper trailers, tents, yurts and recreational vehicles from being used as short-term rental units. This would disallow “Tentrr”—a site similar to Airbnb but for renting out tents—in the town. It does not prohibit families from camping in their backyards or anything non-commerical, noted supervisor Ed Sykes. 

The regulations allow the building inspector to inspect short-term rental units.

Notably, the law as it is now includes a brief provision about trash, putting the onus on unit owners to remove refuse within seven days of the last occupancy. For the last two Delaware meetings, business owners in Callicoon, including Café Adella Dori owner Eva Barnett, have discussed overflowing trash cans on the sidewalk along Main Street. Barnett said she suspects that some of the people abusing the trash cans by dumping full bags of trash in them are Airbnb renters who were told they were responsible for their own garbage. 

Read the full code up for public comment here (or in the "attachments" box above), and find more information on what was discussed in the meeting in this week's paper, online Thursday. 

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