Short-Term Rental Violations at Issue Again

By Jennie Acklin

Iskalo Development, which owns the former Signore metal manufacturing plant site at 55-57 Jefferson Street, is ready to start talking about its options for use of the property.

The site, designated by the DEC as a brownfield in 1986, has been undergoing environmental remediation ever since, and Iskalo has continued its clean up of the site since its purchase in 2007.

Mayor Charlie Coolidge reported that he, two planning board members and the code enforcement officer recently met informally with Iskalo representatives to discuss possible options.

It was explained that the property is zoned for industrial, medium density residential and conservation uses. Mayor Coolidge said that a number of ideas were floated and that Iskalo “wanted to know what we were thinking about possible uses.”

Iskalo also explained that, from its perspective, developing the property is a long-term planning process, perhaps 7-8 years. The firm’s representatives plan to meet with the planning board in the future during a work session.

Code Enforcement for Rental Homes

There have been a number of complaints about village rental homes recently. Apparently, too many people have been occupying individual rental homes for a weekend or period of less than 30 days and are bringing more vehicles than are permitted. And, at least one property with a permit to operate as a Bed & Breakfasts is violating the requirement that the property owner must live full-time on the premises.

Village Law prohibits short-term rentals of properties within the village for less than 30 days.

The only exceptions are for properties that lie within the Village’s “high-density” zoning district and in a small number of homes that had permits (and whose owners renew those permits annually) before the law went into effect in 2005. Each of those properties has an occupancy limit.

A list of properties permitted to rent their dwellings for less than 30 days is available in the Village Clerk’s office. No new permits may be issued for rentals for less than 30 days.

According to a letter sent to realtors reminding them of the law in 2007, “Maximum occupancy for each individual property has been established by the CEO [Code Enforcement Officer] in accordance with NYS Building Codes. Use of the properties for greater numbers of renters than approved by the conditions of [a] Conditional Use Permit shall be considered a violation and subject to the penalties specified by the Zoning Local Law of 2005 (Section 20.C).

The board agreed to do some additional research into specific violations, and asked the code enforcement officer to revoke Bed & Breakfast permits at certain properties. It also noted that realtors are responsible for explaining the rental ordinance to buyers interested in the rental market and that the board is concerned that realtors may be renting the properties in violation of the ordinance.

Engineer’s Report

Village Engineer Mike Smith reported that the waste water treatment plant work is proceeding and that lagoon #4 is a little damp. Two payment requests were made for contractor work and were approved for payment by the board. There will be an onsite progress meeting this week – hardhats and boots required.

Special Events Report

Coolidge stated that this year’s Fall Festival was “probably one of the better ones we’ve had.” Patra Lowes, special events committee chair, said that improvements on the list for next year will include more daytime enforcement, more enforcement toward HoliMont, perimeter control and a possible cap on the number of vendors.

Lowes also reported that registration for this weekend’s EVL Half and 5K is at 1400 people; registration has closed for the Half, 5K registration may be available on race day.

New Business

Coolidge noted that new Christmas tree lights have been budgeted this year. The village is investigating the purchase a new style of halogen lights that are more energy efficient.

The list of residents with unpaid Village taxes has been compiled and is being sent to Cattaraugus County offices for collection.

The next meeting of the Village board will be held on Monday, Nov. 9 at 6 p.m. in the village/town hall.