Lansing Village Engineer Brent Cross shares his thoughts with the Planning Board on short-term rental housing

Lansing Village Engineer Brent Cross shares his thoughts with the Planning Board on short-term rental housing 


The Village of Lansing Planning Board will be holding a public information meeting on Feb. 10 to seek input from residents on a draft of legislation for short-term rental housing in the village.

The Planning Board continued its discussion about short-term rental housing in the village at a meeting on Jan. 13, specifically in regards to the enforceability of certain regulations as well as limiting the burden on Code Enforcement and Zoning Officer Mike Scott. 

One topic that was tossed around was whether or not it should be mandated that the property of a short-term rental unit must be the owner’s principal place of residence. If this were to be mandated, it would mean that if an individual owns another property, and it is not his or her principal place of residence, he or she cannot register to get a permit to turn that property into a short-term rental.

Board member Monica Moll said the village could allow for both types of properties to register for permits, but include certain guidelines for properties that are not the individual’s principal place of residence for the sake of discerning between hosted and non hosted rentals.

“We can say if the property is not the owner’s principal place of residence, ‘this’ applies,” Moll said. “Having a management company or having someone within 15 miles of the property that can call the occupants.”

Board member Michael Baker disagreed with adding those types of details in because it would make it more challenging for Scott to enforce the regulations.

“For me, those are the things that complicate it, that makes it tough for Mike, honestly,” Baker said. “It makes it tough for us. I know it seems like by leaving those things out it might make it not vague, but I think by adding those things in there, there’s all this other sort of wiggle room that makes it more complicated for Mike to figure and enforce and manage.”

The board also talked about repercussions for any violations of the regulations. Village Engineer Brent Cross weighed in, saying the board should decide the level of obedience it wants to set for the legislation.

“I think that you have to decide, as a government agency, are you putting this together to get full compliance, or is it that you want to have rules in place so that if there becomes an issue where it’s causing a problem … that you have the rules that you can go and get that one fixed,” Cross said.

Cross said it is a good idea to have a piece of legislation no matter what because if a problem arose between an owner and a neighbor, the board can look upon the established rules to remedy the situation.

Board member Carolyn Greenwood said she is not worried that much about having full compliance from the village to the rules. Greenwood said she is fine with an owner not complying with the rules so long as it is not negatively affecting the livelihoods of the neighbors.

“That portion, getting the 50 people who are not complying to comply, concerns me less than what happens when the neighbor comes to the village,” Greenwood said. “Then what do we do? That’s the part of the legislation or the ordinance that I want to be clear on, is that part.”

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