The Housing section of the 2014 Comprehensive Plan addressed current trends concerning the use of community housing stock. Research found that more and more homes are purchased as investment properties and used as vacation rentals. At this point 46 % of the real estate tax bills for the Town of North Elba are sent outside the local area code. The number for the Village of Lake Placid is around 26%. An inventory of internet sites suggests there are between 700 and 800 listings for short term residential units. These are fairly evenly divided between the Town and Village.
These rentals are very important to the economy of the community and allow the area to host major events. This trend, however, also creates some challenges. In August of 2014 the Town and Village Boards asked the Community Development Board to examine the issues involved. They created a study group who presented a preliminary report to a joint work session of the Village and Town Boards on October 7, 2015. The Boards expressed concerns and requested additional clarifications.
The Study Group addressed those concerns and submitted a final report to the Development Commission in July of 2016. The Development Commission then approached the Town and Village Boards with the final report. At that point the Boards directed the Development Commission to develop language that would translate the concepts of the report into language that could be included in the Land Use Code. On Monday, September 19, 2017 Lake Placid Village Board voted to move to a Public Hearing on the proposed language pending review of the Village, Town, and Review Board Counsel. This was followed by a similar vote of the North Elba Town Board on Tuesday, Oct 4, 2017. The proposal is provided in the link below.
While in the process of creating the legislative proposal for a local permit system the Community Development Commission teamed with representatives of ROOST, Essex County, and Franklin County to research methods available for administering short term rental permit regulations. They met with representatives of a number of software companies that specialize in this area. As a result of those meetings a tentative contract was created which would identify Bearcloud, Inc. as the software provider for an administration package. The online presence involved is STRhelper.com (Short Term Rental Helper). A link to the website is provided below.
Appendix 1 Report to the Joint Village / Town Worksession
Appendix 2 Response to Questions from the Worksession
Appendix 3 Sample Affadavit