Council sets Oct. 22 meeting to discuss rental issue

Rockland gives initial OK to repealing short-term rental cap

By Stephen Betts | Oct 11, 2018
Photo by: Stephen Betts

Rockland — The Rockland City Council gave initial approval Wednesday night, Oct. 10, to repealing the short-term rental cap imposed in March.

Before a final vote is held Nov. 14, the council has scheduled a meeting solely to hear from all sides on the controversial issue of short-term rentals, a debate that has spanned three years. That meeting is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 22.

The council voted 3-2 at its Oct. 10 meeting to give preliminary approval to Councilor Adam Ackor's proposal to repeal the cap on non-owner-occupied short-term rentals. Mayor Valli Geiger and Councilor Ed Glaser voted against the repeal.

The council voted 3-2 at its Feb. 12 meeting to set the cap on non-owner-occupied short-term rentals. Ackor and Councilor Lisa Westkaemper voted against the cap.

The vote resulted in a cap of 52.

Ackor said Wednesday night that the cap was arbitrary and unfair. He said it was not fair that one person could rent out while another could not, simply because one had a permit before the cap.

He said people purchasing homes and using them for short-term rentals are making investments in the community.

"There has been a lot of hyperbole on this issue," Ackor said.

Ackor said there were issues that need to be looked at, such as parity between all lodging enterprises.

Cheryl Michaelsen, owner of the Berry Manor Inn, said there is no equity in how the city treats short-term rentals versus bed-and-breakfast businesses. Businesses like hers face inspections and regulations that are not required of the short-term rentals.

Glaser voted against the repeal, but said he does not think there should be a cap, because he opposes short-term rentals in residences where the owner is absent. He said this creates businesses operating in residential neighborhoods.

Ackor said he saw no difference between a home being used as a short-term rental versus a long-term rental.

Councilor Amelia Magjik said she would like to see more information on the impact of short-term rentals and suggested a committee look into the issue.

There are a total of 81 short-term rentals approved in Rockland, of which 48 are non-owner-occupied.

Comments (1)
Posted by: Ian Emmott | Oct 11, 2018 06:53

Sad to hear Adam is not staying on the council, he will be missed.

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