Lyme considers short-term rental rules

Updated: Jun. 11, 2019 at 4:09 PM EDT
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TOWN OF LYME, N.Y. (WWNY) - The town of Lyme is a popular spot for tourism and when people stay there they can rent homes and cottages, something made easier by websites like Airbnb.

But the town is now considering new rules.

According to the proposed law, the owner of the home must get a yearly permit to rent and must live in the house at some point during the year.

Quiet hours for the residence would start at 10 p.m. Only 2 people would be allowed to stay per bedroom and only 2 more in the house during a rental period.

So why these new regulations?

Peter Rogers lives in a house just off of Lake Ontario in the town. He says trouble started last winter when people came to stay at the rental property across the street.

“I had an idiot that was drunk and snowmobiling out in the front here at about 11:30, 12 o’clock at night, shooting fireworks off that were going off and going up and the fireworks were going this way. I’m a Vietnam veteran. I don’t like fireworks going off in the middle of the night,” he said.

Owner of Lake Ontario Realty Amanda Miller rents out the house across from Rogers.

“He went out on the ice and he did light off a bottle rocket. He apologized immediately and we had no more issues. I feel very badly. I understand where he’s coming from as far as not wanting the noise and not wanting to have somebody shooting off fireworks or a bottle rocket or anything. But I do have to bring up the fact that we live on the lake and that happens every day. People are lighting fireworks late at night. Fishermen go out on the ice. They do all kinds of things. It really has nothing to do with it being a short-term rental,” said Miller.

Miller rents out 5 other cottages through Airbnb.

"Pete Rogers has never tried to contact me. I would always address any concerns he had. And I did stop by his house one day to introduce myself as the new owner and try to let him know I’m here and he can call any time, " said Miller.

Rogers says some short-term renters are up to no good. He approached town officials who are now proposing new rules.

“Basically what we just want to do is protect the public interest and preserve the rural beauty and residential character of the town, but still want to allow short-term rental units,” said Scott Aubertine, town supervisor.

Aubertine says the law will probably need to be drafted again. One issue - the law states that owners have to live in the home they rent for a portion of the year, which poses a problem for people like Miller.

As for this upcoming tourist season, Rogers said, “This summer, who knows.”

“I live two miles away. I’m not an absentee owner. All he has to do is pick up the phone, say we have a problem and I’m going to come take care of it. The last thing I want is anything to effect Pete Rogers and his quality of life here on the lake,” said Miller.

There will be a public hearing at 6:15 p.m. Wednesday to discuss the drafted law.

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