ROTTERDAM – Diane Bauland of Sunrise Boulevard in Rotterdam is sick of the Airbnb next to her home.
“I don’t feel safe in my house because I don’t know who’s there,” she said Thursday afternoon.
Bauland brought her concerns Wednesday to the Rotterdam Town Board, which approved setting a public hearing on whether the town should have a moratorium on short-term rentals like Airbnbs. The hearing will take place virtually at 7 p.m. on April 28.
Town Supervisor Steven Tommasone said the town’s code doesn’t necessarily prohibit short-term rentals like Airbnbs and any changes to town code would take a while to sort out.
“I don’t think this is unique to Rotterdam,” he said.
The town of Glenville doesn’t have any laws prohibiting Airbnbs, said Supervisor Chris Koetzle, but there haven’t been any problems to his knowledge either.
In Niskayuna, Town Planner Laura Robertson said Airbnbs are technically allowed. She said people cannot rent a single room because that would violate the single family zoning, but they can rent a whole house. She also said the people renting should be related to the people they’re renting from, but it’s hard to enforce. She said there haven’t really been any issues with Airbnbs in town.
Bauland wouldn’t comment on whether a town-wide ban on Airbnbs might be the solution.
“Should there never ever be an Airbnb?” she said. “Not in this neighborhood.”
She said she won’t allow her grandchildren to play in the backyard because she doesn’t know who is staying next door. She also recalled several occasions where people renting the Airbnb were fighting, disturbing the neighborhood.
Because it is not an owner-occupied property, she said the only enforcement would be calling the police – which she has come close to doing.
“That’s just not the way I want to live my life,” she said.
The town attorney is looking into whether the town can vote on the moratorium after the public hearing, Tommasone said.
To attend the public hearing
When: 7 p.m. April 28
Members of the public may attend the hearing by dialing 1 (929) 205-6099, then entering the conference ID no. 867 0373 0307, followed by the pound symbol.