Ogdensburg may look at short-term rentals

Ogdensburg. Ogdensburg officials are looking at the proposed short-term rental ordinance in Vernon Township as the borough looks to develop its own regulations. However, officials are concerned about issues such as over-regulating personal property and municipal liability.

16 Mar 2020 | 05:28

Ogdensburg officials are reviewing a proposed short-term rental ordinance in Vernon Township with an eye toward possibly creating its own.

Mayor George Hutnick said there is little interest in short-term rentals in Ogdensburg, but he wanted to get ahead of the possibility of regulations in order to protect the borough.

Therefore, he said, Borough Attorney Robert McBriar is reviewing a short-term rental Vernon Township's proposed ordinance

McBriar said in light of Airbnb and other short term rentals, municipalities regulate the rentals in order to minimize effects to surrounding neighborhoods. He reviewed possible regulations, such as limitations on rental periods, owner permits, and a violations and penalty provision. In addition, he said, he will develop a draft regulation and share it with the council.

Hutnick added they are not trying to stop anyone from renting, but would like to avoid problems.

Police Chief Stephen Gordon advised holding owners accountable regarding renters and also regulating the transient population. Gordon said the town could also be held liable for any injury, and he is looking at the long-term, worst case scenario.

Councilwoman Rachel Slater said they should look into short-term rental agreements, rules, and policies before developing regulations. She added there may be something in place between the owner and renter, and a “host” already verifies the property is ready for the renter.

Councilman Anthony Nasisi said his only concern is over-regulating – especially over one’s personal property.

Hutnick said Airbnb has a six step checklist to stay within the law, and if someone does not follow the rules, the borough is then responsible to step in.

Council President Michael Nardini read aloud Airbnb's contract legal terms, and said it seemed as if Airbnb passed the liability onto the owner of the building or home. Nardini also said the borough can give guidelines and agreed they should know what Airbnb requires.

After more discussion, McBriar suggested drafting a document in order to continue the discussion and address concerns.