Short-term rental operators in Woodstock, New York, are once again lobbying for more inclusion following Supervisor Bill McKenna reopening discussions of revisions to the town's short-term rental rules. “I do recognize that there's a somewhat unfair process where we give out permits, and then of those 200, 300 permits we give out, now go with the property for life until they decide not to get them,” McKenna acknowledged at a Dec. 13 Town Board meeting. “And that's not unsimilar to a taxi medallion, or a liquor license, where somebody gets something, they have it, and nobody else can get it.” McKenna's lottery proposal was not welcomed, and he agreed with council member Bennet Ratcliff's suggestion to elevate permit fees to pay for enforcement of the regulations. “We're seeking legislation that's fair to everyone involved, consistently applied and targeted to address the real issues that all the stakeholders care about,” stated Michael Henry of the Woodstock Short Term Rental Association (STRA). “The desire to maintain local character and quality of life, the town's need for visitor accommodations to support the local tourist economy and restaurants and everything, and the part-time residents' needs for income to maintain their home.” Henry said adequate enforcement of existing rules would squeeze out corporate landlords. Fellow STRA member Tricia McDermott suggested raising short-term rental taxes to fund long-term housing — an option that McKenna refused. The Town Board is expected to discuss recommended amendments again in January.
Hudson Valley One (12/21/22) Nick Henderson