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New restrictions on short-term rentals in Village of the Branch

Mayor says the law was adopted as a precaution after reviewing legislation in place in other villages and towns.

Offices for Village of the Branch on Nov.

Offices for Village of the Branch on Nov. 22, 2017. Photo Credit: Heather Walsh

Village of the Branch trustees voted unanimously last week to impose new regulations on short-term home rentals.

The rules apply to leases of 30 days or less and include conditions intended to maintain quality of life for neighbors. Homeowners must apply for a permit to rent, and only owner-occupied homes with on-site parking are eligible for rental. Parties are forbidden after 10 p.m. and homeowners can rent no more than two bedrooms. Rented bedrooms must be larger than 70 square feet and cannot contain kitchens. The $50 permit is renewable yearly.

The trustees approved the changes last Tuesday in a 5-0 vote.

Long Island municipalities from the Hamptons to Lido Beach have adopted similar measures in recent years, spurred by complaints from full-time residents over the influx of tourists during the summer season and the popularity of websites like Airbnb that have grown the short-term rental market.

Village of the Branch, landlocked and host to no major tourist events, has not yet encountered such complaints, but officials wanted to be prepared, Mayor Mark Delaney said.

“We’re not in the Hamptons, but we wanted to put some framework into our books to be able to regulate the issue if and when it comes up,” he said, adding that officials had reviewed similar legislation in place in other Long Island towns and villages for months before adopting their law.

Airbnb showed one location in the village last week, a basement apartment off Village Way. The hosts described it as “Minutes to all, shopping, restaurants, beaches, wedding venues, train to NYC and East End of Long Island.” The price was $85 per night. “Five stars is not enough!” wrote one satisfied guest.

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