Port North proposes extensive B&B regulations

Port North proposes extensive B&B regulations
Mayor Bob Weitzner (center) and the Port Washington North board of trustees at Wednesday's meeting. (Photo by Luke Torrance)

Port Washington North trustees opened up their proposed law limiting rentals for public comment during Wednesday’s meeting but could not come to a decision on whether to approve it.

“You can do anything you want right now,” Mayor Bob Weitzner said. “What we’re doing is starting some dialogue to restrict rentals.”

Under the proposed law, rentals longer than a week but shorter than six months would be banned. In order to rent your property for less than seven days — if one wanted to have a bed and breakfast, for example — there would be a very specific set of laws:

The homeowner would have to receive permission from the Port Washington North government, it has to be in a residential zone, the home cannot hold more than four guests, it has to have kitchen/dining room, it cannot have a separate entrance, it has to be the homeowner’s primary residence, there must be two on-site/off-site parking spaces, there must be plant barriers, no signs nor commercial lighting are allowed, no meals except for breakfast may be served, the home must maintain its residential appearance, it must be in compliance with all codes and the owner must have $1 million in general liability insurance.

There was both support and opposition to the proposed law.

One resident said the rule should go even further and ban every rental less than six months. But another argued that by barring residents from hosting guests, the village was taking away something of value from the home owners.

The board decided to adjourn the discussion on the law until their Jan. 3 meeting.

Port Washington North did approve a new contract with the Port Washington Fire Department. The $357,388 contract is a 1.28 percent increase from last year’s budget and almost a quarter of the village’s workable budget.

In the public works report, it was mentioned that the village used some leftover highway funds to purchase a new truck for snow removal.

The trustees also approved a public hearing for Bill 7 of 2017, which would ban doubles telephone poles.

The proposed law rose out of a dispute over poles along Cow Neck Road. The board also approved hearings on contracts for street sweeping and park maintenance were also approved. All of these public hearings will take place at the village’s next board of trustees meeting in January.

The village also decided to opt out of a state property tax exemption for solar and wind energy. Village Clerk Palma Torrisi said the village had always opted out because it already provided benefits to residents who wanted to utilize wind or solar enegery.

“Perhaps it’s not fair to give property tax exemption because it’s not fair to everyone,” she said. “Some people have homes that might not face the right direction.”

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