The Village of Lindenhurst is banning homeowners from renting out their pools, hot tubs, yards or sports courts.
Lindenhurst officials had said they were concerned about pool rentals after learning about the company Swimply, which lists private hourly pool rentals online. Of the company’s 5,500 national listings, about 100 were on Long Island this summer.
Swimply co-founder Asher Weinberger spoke at the Sept. 1 hearing and said that his company helps "people looking to generate some income who have been suffering terribly financially as well as people who have been trapped at home and have no way to get some healthy, safe, contactless recreation."
He said it is a misconception that the site is a "party platform" and that 99% of the company’s bookings are local families.
"We’re not bringing people from far and wide to come throw parties in quiet villages," Weinberger said.
The village board of trustees approved the new law after the public hearing. The village amended its code on rental occupancy permits to prohibit these property features from being "rented or used in whole or part for any third party, transient recreational use."
Trustee RJ Renna said the village wants to protect homeowners and the "neighborhood’s integrity."
"I know you’re painting a really nice picture about this and I think it sounds like a nice thing, but there’s always things that you can’t control," Renna told Weinberger. "If you’re hosting a party with more than 20 people at a time when COVID is going on, it doesn’t seem like it’s an ideal scenario."
Resident Robert Fantel said he opposed the law as a "firm believer that what happens in my house stays in my house." He also criticized officials for mentioning a possible COVID-19 threat, noting a village soccer field that regularly has hundreds of youth players without masks. He also noted other quality-of-life issues he said he has been after the village to address in his neighborhood.
"You can’t pick and choose," Fantel said. "If you’re going to impose these laws and rules and regulations, you need to do it across the board."
Resident Denis Garbo also criticized the "weak excuse" of COVID-19 but, like several others who spoke at the hearing, said he supported the law.
"It’s a slippery slope," Garbo said. "Once you allow the home to be used for commercial purposes, what else are you going to allow … things can go downhill very rapidly."