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Bellport bed-and-breakfast rentals allowed under new village law

Bellport homeowners can rent out their homes for short-term stays under a bed-and-breakfast law adopted by the village board of trustees.

Officials say they want to carefully regulate and control the businesses in the village and have set stringent guidelines for the establishments, which have been growing in number.

Bed-and-breakfasts must be separated by at least 500 feet, and no more than four paying guests are allowed in a home at once, village officials said.

There must be adequate parking for every occupant, and the business must operate for at least three months out of the year, village officials said.

Trustee Robert Rosenberg said there is a need for bed-and-breakfasts -- there aren't any hotels in the village -- and that they will be "carefully controlled" and "regulated."

Trustees unanimously adopted the new code at their Saturday meeting.

Village officials define a bed-and-breakfast as an owner-occupied, single-family dwelling with at least one guest bedroom for a paying occupant who will be served breakfast. The rental must be the homeowner's primary residence.

Tourism is an important factor in promoting the economic welfare of Bellport, the code read.

But there was opposition.

"I don't want to live next to a motel," village resident Dick Serocki, 68, told board members at the meeting. "I don't think we need any bed-and-breakfasts in Bellport. I'm totally against it."

Village officials said they have been eyeing the legislation for eight months, after homeowners approached them about establishing bed-and-breakfasts in their homes.

Board members have struggled with how to distinguish a bed-and-breakfast rental with short-term stays from longer-term summer rentals that are popular in the South Shore village.

Such short-term rentals have recently been offered on websites that advertise homes in the village, with prices ranging from $550 to $800 per night. One $800-per-night home includes four bedrooms and bathrooms, a pool and pool house, and is one block from Bellport Bay, according to one website.

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