Lansing resident Sean Dollaway spoke at a Village of Lansing Planning Board meeting on June 10, expressing his concern regarding one of his neighbors, who runs an Airbnb on his property.
This is the second time Dollaway has spoken in front of the Planning Board, with the first time coming back on Feb. 11. Dollaway lives on 150 Burdick Hill Road, and the neighbor lives on 154. Dollaway said over the past couple of months the Airbnb has been the host of several large graduation, wedding, bachelor and fraternity parties among other social events, which have raised concerns regarding the privacy and safety of himself and his family.
“Not this last week, but the weekend before there was a huge graduation party with people in the front yard swearing and all this other stuff, my daughter meanwhile was outside who is six,” Dollaway said.
Chairperson Lisa Schleelein said the board has not addressed this issue yet due to the lack of jurisdiction it has over properties listed as Airbnb’s, though this “is clearly something that we need to look at that and start reviewing that.”
Dollaway made it clear that he has no problem with having an Airbnb in the neighborhood.
“Honestly, I don’t mind having an Airbnb. That doesn’t bother me at all,” he said. “It’s the huge parties, the mess. I could care less of having an Airbnb … but it does bother me when at three o’ clock in the afternoon they’re outside in their front yard playing flip cup, smoking cigarettes and doing all other stuff.”
Mary Hudson, who lives on 134 Burdick Hill Road, was also in attendance and shared her concerns as well.
“Last summer was really bad,” Hudson said. “We had wine tour busses, and wine tour busses come home at midnight or whatever time they come home from their late tour. I actually moved my privacy, I moved it down because when all the cars come into our parking lot it shines right into my bedroom window at night. … I don’t mind if they do an Airbnb, but the win tour busses riding up and down Burdick is a little bit too much.”
Dollaway said he has called the police multiple times about the parties, but was told that there was nothing that he or they can do.
Code Enforcement/Zoning Officer Mike Scott said the board cannot administer a noise ordinance, but he himself can send a letter to the neighbor, notifying the individual that the board will be discussing how to handle Airbnb’s in the area in the future.
Board member Carolyn Greenwald asked Scott whether or not the board has any zoning laws relating to home occupancy or business that he can enforce. Scott said the board will need to identify whether or not this is a business or not being run at the property.
“They’re either going to have to describe what their function is there, so we can actually define it what it actually is, whether it’s just occupation or it is business,” he said.
Village Engineer Brent Cross said if the owner of the property is in violation of a zoning law and continues to violate such law, he or she will have to appear in the town court.
“The zoning officer would be obligated to site a zoning violation, if that’s what’s determined, to give some kind of brief period for compliance, and if the compliance wasn’t achieved … and it continues to be a violation, I think the zoning office has to file an accusatory or has to prepare and accusatory and asked the property owner to come to court.”