On Monday, March 20, the village of Trumansburg's Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Revision Committee held its regular monthly meeting at 6:30 p.m. Having finished with their draft of the village's comprehensive plan, they turned their attention to short-term rentals and commercial zoning.

The committee reviewed a draft law for short-term rentals, during which it discussed comments that committee members Kathy Klemperer and Code Enforcement officer Tom Myers left in the document, sharing questions and concerns.

One of Klemperer's questions was to ask about situations in which people who are renting a house subletting a room to a third party, and to clarify who the "owner" of the property would be defined as under the law. In response, Ben Darfler, head of the committee, and the other board members informed Klemperer that such situations would involve creating a "master lease" for the lessee who is subletting rooms to others, and would be permissible as long as the lessee registers with the town.

While discussing the law, the committee worked to revise various other issues with the law, particularly its wording on certain subjects. These included what "short-term" rentals are defined as, and whether the regulations apply to sublets between family members.

The committee's next step will be to send the draft law to Guy Krogh, the attorney for the Village of Trumansburg, for his feedback on the draft law. Darfler said the committee will review the law if Krogh has meaningful changes, but if not, they will submit it to the village board of trustees for their consideration.

The committee discussed how to put the law before the public and obtain committee input, as is legally required for such local laws. Darfler said the law is enough of a change that not only is a public hearing required, but also the committee should go further than that and host conversations with the public about the law.

Klemperer raised the suggestion that some Trumansburg residents may be getting tired of the village holding public hearings for local laws.

"The people who care care a lot," Klemperer said, "but some people don't care all that much."

Klemperer suggested hosting "listening sessions," in which residents can share their concerns and ask questions of the board. They discussed the size of such meetings in Trumansburg, in which as many as 30 people could show up, and Klemperer said that number would be feasible, although they had to see how many would show up.

After concluding its discussion on the draft law for the moment, the committee moved on to commercial zoning. This includes ground-floor residential buildings of commercial buildings.

The committee discussed where the boundaries of the village's residential and commercial districts lie, as well as which sorts of development are permissible in each area. Darfler said that zoning has two major considerations – the purpose of a proposed development, as well as the "visual" aspect, which refers to the location, landscaping and drainage of a development.

"Sure, we can have a commercial use here, that's fine, but is it going to fit with everything around it," Darfler said.

Shortly after 8 p.m., the committee concluded its discussion for the moment and adjourned the meeting, having run out of time. The next Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Revision Committee meeting will be held on Monday, April 17 at 6:30 p.m.

(1) comment

Richard Ballantyne

Vote out the know-it-all central planners. Then repeal their onerous property and housing related regulations that increase compliance costs and ultimately raise the cost of living even faster than inflation does. The very laws they claim will increase availability of affordable housing will end up doing the exact opposite. Don't be foolish and ever allow the same toxic legal swill from Ithaca ever spill into neighboring Towns.

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