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Babylon Village votes to ban Airbnb and other short-term rentals

Airbnb has 10 listings in the Town of

Airbnb has 10 listings in the Town of Babylon, but it's unclear how many are in the village. Only one or two listings appear in Babylon Village, depending on the dates searched. Credit: AFP / Getty Images / Martin Bureau

Babylon Village lawmakers have banned Airbnb and other short-term rentals, contending the small-town community is the wrong place for what a trustee called “transient populations.”

The mayor and trustees voted Nov. 12 to ban any rentals under 30 nights, described in the new law as “transient rental properties.”

The law — which goes into effect once the village files it with the state — claims those rentals can be “overcrowded and dangerous, create blight, tend to overburden municipal services, pose a danger to life, limb and property and promote or encourage deterioration of the housing stock of the village.”

At a public hearing on Oct. 8, several residents suggested the village regulate such rentals instead of banning them outright.

“You’re out of touch with people that are coming into the community, that want to stay for a weekend, that want to enjoy what we have and to tell them ‘Oh no, I’m sorry, you’re going to be rowdy, or you’re a detriment to the community,’ ” said Susan Trumble, a village resident. “These are just regular people.”

She called the proposed village law “archaic” and “stagnant.”

The village has no hotels or motels, but Mayor Ralph Scordino has been supportive of a planned hotel development.

Before the 5-0 vote to ban the popular house-and-room rentals on Nov. 12, Scordino said, “I really feel that it’s a hindrance to the small-town model that we have here.”

Trustee Robyn Silvestri said she supports the ban to “reduce the possibility of transient populations coming in and out.”

Village code enforcement officers would be responsible for imposing the new code. Village officials did not indicate when they would file the legislation with the state.

The village board held a second public hearing earlier in the evening to further discuss the ban, deciding to remove a requirement that brokers of longer-term rentals file post-rental reports. A longer-term rental is any stay beyond 30 days.

Two residents spoke in support of banning Airbnb.

“I don’t think it’s beneficial to this village,” said Jeff Thompson.

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