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Queensbury, NY (WRGB) — A controversial regulation in the town of Queensbury has residents at odds after the town board adopted a resolution on Monday changing the minimum stay for rentals to five days.
Town officials say it’s to prevent what they’re calling “weekend warriors” which they say are the stays that tend to cause issues in residential neighborhoods.
Councilman Tim McNulty, who represents the town’s 4th Ward, says the five-day minimum requirement for rental property bookings will only be in effect during summer months from May through September.
While there will be no minimum stay requirements during the winter, short term rental operators in Queensbury are now only allowed to rent their properties up to 120 days a year.
McNulty says the goal is to control the growth of short-term rentals in town.
“Residential communities, houses with children going to school, vibrant members of the community– short term rentals, you don’t have that,” he answered.
“Two-to-three-day rentals are the norm and that’s where we have some of the issues with parties, graduation parties, different functions going on which tends to create some ruckus in the neighborhood, so we’re saying five days now, ” said McNulty. “So people can come in get to enjoy our area for five days, seven days whatever and hopefully be good neighbors.”
McNulty said the town held two public meetings and opinions from residents were split.
“General consensus was about 50-50,” said McNulty. “50-percent of the folks were supportive of putting these changes and regulations and the other 50-percent were not supportive and, mostly, it was neighbors versus short term rental owners.”
Ryan McCall, an attorney with Tully Rinckey, said that this may not only impact rental property owners but also surrounding areas.
“As time goes on, you’re really going to see a lot of individuals who would normally want to rent an Airbnb in that area say ‘well, do we need to rent in that area or maybe we can go a little bit outside that area and rent it for the weekend’. and that’s where we’re going to see some of the hurt come in, at least financially through the Airbnb owners of Queensbury,” said McCall.
“I think it’s going to set a decent precedent for other smaller suburban communities where they can say you know what we really looking to somewhat discourage some of this behavior that’s been happening with the short term Airbnb-ers,” said McCall.
“Maybe we’ll see begin to see some of these other communities start to adopt similar measures,” said McCall.
McNulty says the changes will start January 1st, with the five-day minimum stay requirement beginning May 15th of next year.