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Babylon Village to hold hearing on banning Airbnb, other short-term rentals

Babylon Village will hold a second public hearing

Babylon Village will hold a second public hearing Tuesday on a bill that would prohibit permits for rentals occupied for less than 30 nights. Credit: T.C. McCarthy

As the Village of Babylon weighs a ban on Airbnb and other short-term rentals, the mayor and trustees are holding a second public hearing on Tuesday to continue the debate.

The village held a hearing on Oct. 8, where several residents cited the lack of hotels and motels in the village and objected to banning the popular rental companies, including Vrbo.

The bill, initially proposed as Local Law 7, is now Local Law 8 and would prohibit permits for rentals occupied for less than 30 nights. It would also put more responsibility on Realtors to ensure long-term rental units are properly permitted.

The proposed law claims short-term Airbnb units 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.”

In arguing for the ban, Mayor Ralph Scordino cited a house in the village that rents rooms, but it’s unclear whether rentals there are short- or long-term and whether they rent on sites like Airbnb.

“How do we know that the electric is done properly? … How do we know that there’s water?” a frustrated Scordino asked a resident who opposed the ban in October. “How do we know any of that? Who inspects the house?”

Several residents suggested the village inspect short-term rentals instead of banning them.

The public hearing will begin at 7 p.m. at Village Hall.

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