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Lakewood Extends Short-Term Rental Moratorium

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Lakewood Village Board of Trustees approved the measure Monday. However, the board also approved a question-and-answer open house about the draft of the new short term rental zoning law, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., Oct. 23 at the Busti Town Hall, 125 Chautauqua Ave, Lakewood.

“We encourage all (village) residents to attend. It will be an open house format allowing for people to go and ask questions directly. They maybe can give their concerns or their suggestions. We will be taking that information back to the short term rental committee and working on the feedback that we get during that open house to finalize the draft,” Barnes said.

Trustee Ellen Barnes said village officials have received the draft and it will be posted to the village website, lakewoodny.com.

That draft, Barnes noted, will be presented to the board for adoption. In January, trustees heard a presentation from Bergmann Architects, Engineers, and Planners branch in Rochester regarding the creation of a short-term rental law.

In May 2022, the board adopted a moratorium on short-term rentals in the village. Then, Mayor Randy Holcomb said a moratorium gives the village time to review zoning regulations.

The law states “recent trend of existing residential structures being used by owners for the primary purpose of renting to short-term rental occupants has created the concern that the residential character and economic base of the village is threatened. The Board of Trustees hereby finds that more specific zoning provisions are appropriate to address this increasingly popular land use activity and that short term vacation rentals create conflicts with their residential neighbors, and have the potential to degrade residential neighborhoods by introducing crime, noise, parking congestion and other detrimental impacts while also adversely affecting the traditional neighborhood character that results from a community of owner-occupied properties.”

Some of the recommendations that have been included in the draft are digitizing a zoning map, clarifying definitions, continue licensing and permitting, align bed and breakfast establishments by ensuring regulations work, implement max occupancy in zoning laws, and expand relations to be sensitive of neighborhood context (proximity, density, and outdoor activity).

Holcomb said previously that the village is not trying to put an end to short-term rentals, but the moratorium gives trustees time to looking at regulations that do not address rental properties. The moratorium limits any new short-term rental occupancy within three village zoning districts: single-family residential, multiple-family and mobile residential. It also prevents property owners from being able to apply for a permit to turn their homes into a short-term rentals.

Properties already used as short-term rentals in the village will not be impacted by the local law.

In other business trustees accepted the resignation of three Lakewood-Busti Police Officers.

Resigning are Hunter Teboe, Elliot Johnson, and Eathan Johnson. Teboe resignation is effective Saturday. Teboe, officials said, has worked as a part-time officer since April 19, and is leaving to attend the New York State Police Academy.

Elliot Johnson’s resignation was effective Sept. 13 and he has worked, trustees said, as a part-time officer since June 2. He accepted a position with the town of Ellicott Police Department.

Eathan Johnson’s resignation was effective Sept. 27, and he also has worked, trustees said, as a part-time officer since June 2. He accepted a position with the town of Ellicott Police Department.

“They are going to full time jobs,” said Lakewood-Busti Police Chief Chris DePonceau said.

DePonceau said that if three full time officers were added to the department, it may offset resignations. DePonceau said that Lakewood-Busti is not the only department that is experiencing shortages.

In September, Tim Jackson, Jamestown police chief and public safety director, told City Council members earlier this week the city is now offering a $10,000 bonus to sworn officers will transfer into the Jamestown Police Department. As has been reported previously by The Post-Journal, numerous police and law enforcement agencies around the nation are facing manpower shortages and having a hard time getting applicants for open officer positions.

Lakewood Mayor Randy Holcomb said while a discussion for more full time officers has not begun, he knows there needs to be changes that need to be addressed.

The next board meeting is scheduled for Nov. 13 at 6:30 p.m.

Source: The Post Journal

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