On April 21, the Southold Town Board set a public hearing for June 2 for a new short-term rental law that will prohibit residents from renting out their homes for fewer than seven nights.
The law is unlikely to take effect before this summer season, as many rentals are already booked, but Town Supervisor Scott Russell said Tuesday morning that he’d like to have it in place by the fall.
The board has been drafting the law over the past several months in response to a great deal of public outcry over homes in residential neighborhoods that are being rented for one or two nights to drunken partiers through websites such as AirBNB.
Board members have spent the past several weeks debating whether to set the lower limit of allowed rental terms to seven or 14 nights, and most board members said at a work session this morning that he’d like the public to weigh in on the seven-night limit.
“This is just a proposal, and we have to start somewhere,” said Councilwoman Jill Doherty.
Councilman Jim Dinizio said he would like to hear the public’s opinion on a seven-night limit, but he’d like more clarity about potential penalties to be written into the law.
As currently drafted, violations of the new law would be violations of Chapter 280 of the Southold Town Code, which already includes language about penalties for violations.
“The only way we’re going to evaluate the impacts is to pass seven nights and see what happens, see if it solves the problem,” said Mr. Russell.