Village board drafts by-laws for short-term rentals


Addressing numerous complaints from residents in May about short-term rentals, Sea Cliff Deputy Mayor Kevin McGilloway proposed a set of rules and regulations at a public meeting on Sept. 11. Most renters have used Airbnb to rent local properties.

“There has been a significant increase in the number of short-term rentals in our village,” McGilloway said. “We feel that this threatens the quality of life in the village.”

He said that in the past, visitors who have arranged short-term rentals in the village for a weekend to throw a bachelor party, for example, have allowed parties to get out of control, endangering themselves and residents. He added that he understands that this isn’t the case for everyone who rents in the village.

“This is not an easy issue to address, because it’s a balancing act,” McGilloway said. “There are many legitimate rentals in Sea Cliff, and we’re not trying to disturb the student who’s renting a room from somebody for a semester. We’re trying to find that magic middle ground.”

Short-term rentals on Long Island, he said, typically range from eight to 90 days. A draft code change would require property owners to obtain a permit to rent property for eight or fewer days. Properties could be rented a maximum of twice a year, and renters would be required to adhere to the village’s safety standards, which are listed in its code of ethics. If there were any violations on the property during the 12-month period of acquiring a permit, McGilloway said, the permit would not be issued.

“Legally, we want to make sure that we make every attempt to communicate to the community about our potential changes,” he said. “We’re putting a framework in place, but we hope to learn as we go along with this.”

“We’re introducing these laws to board members on how to regulate it, while recognizing that people may want to add some changes,” Village Attorney Brian Stolar said of the short-term rental market. “We’ve also recognized that there are some potential health and safety measures to examine.”

The board hopes to receive more input from residents before adding new regulations to the village code, and will continue the discussion at its next public meeting, Oct. 10, at 7 p.m., at Village Hall.