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Bellport forms advisory committee to study bed-and-breakfast regulations

A newly formed Bellport advisory committee says it wants to review whether a failed law regulating bed-and-breakfasts in the village should be re-enacted.

"We're looking at do we want them, how do we regulate them, do we not want them," said longtime village resident Mary Butler, who is the chairwoman of the committee.

Butler said the committee plans to reach out to other Long Island municipalities for advice on setting guidelines and will present "findings, facts, opinions and ideas" to the board of trustees later this year.

The seven-member committee was formally created at Monday's board meeting.

Mayor Ray Fell said he expects the volunteer group to get the pulse of the community about short-term and long-term rentals.

Trustees voted to create a bed-and-breakfast law in July that would have set guidelines on such businesses. But the village did not file the new law with Department of State in Albany for approval, as required by state law. Therefore the law died after 30 days, village and state officials said.

Village officials said the trustees received a lot of push back from residents after the code's adoption, forcing board members to reconsider the law.

"I think there's a need. We don't need Bellport to be Bellport party town," said committee member Eric Sofio, 52, on regulating bed-and-breakfasts.

Resident Loretta Drew, another committee member, works in real estate and owns a rental home in Bellport.

"The need is definitely there," said Drew, 74, after the meeting. "We need to monitor it and keep the residents happy."

The original code required bed-and-breakfasts to limit paying guests to four at any one time. It also called for parking for every occupant, and the business would have had to operate for at least three months out of the year.

If such a law is eventually passed, homeowners would have six to eight months to comply.

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