K’hook village eyes regulating short-term rentals

KINDERHOOK– Village Zoning Enforcement Officer Glenn Smith asked the Village Board to add language on short-term rentals to the village zoning code at the board’s meeting Wednesday, January 9.

He said there are standards for bed and breakfast services and rentals in the village code but not short-term rentals, saying, “We’re pretty much talking about Airbnb.”

Mr. Smith told the board he has looked at the Airbnb website and there are several short-term rental options offered on that site in the village. He said he just wants to look into safety issues in the homes, and that there could be an impact on village water and sewer services.

“I don’t want to eliminate them, I just want them to be inspected,” he said of short-term rentals. He asked for “verbiage” on Airbnb in the zoning law, but a resident attending the meeting pointed out that Airbnb was just one of the companies where people can advertise space in their homes or their whole house for short-term rentals.

Mayor Jim Dunham said he would ask the village attorney about adding wording to the code. Changes to the zoning code would need to be approved by the board after a public hearing.

The board also discussed late water and sewer bills at their meeting. There are about $12,000 in outstanding sewer bills to date, according the Trustee Dale Leiser. Bills for the last quarter are due at the end of January and Mr. Leiser said the overdue amount has been going up. About 35 properties in the village are connected to the Village of Valatie sewer system. In 2012, the village received loans and grants to connect buildings in the business district, mostly along Route 9, to the system. There is a meter that measures how much is flowing through the system before it reaches the Waste Water Treatment facility in Valatie. Kinderhook village employees use that meter, and properties’ water meter readings and then bills residents and property owners for that use the sewer system.

In 2014 the village sent out its first sewer bills. The properties connected to the sewer system pay a sewer rate based on water usage, and a sewer fee, which pays for the maintenance on the sewer plant in Valatie; the same fee is paid by Valatie residents. Also, all Village of Kinderhook residents pay a small amount on their property taxes to pay down the debt of $230,000 that the Village Board borrowed to pay for the construction that connected Kinderhook village properties to the treatment plant.

According the Kinderhook Village Clerk Nicole Heeder at last week’s meeting, the village bills about $6,500 a quarter in sewer charges. There is a monthly 2% fee on late sewer bills.

Mr. Leiser said he was knocking a doors to let people know about their late water bills, which comes to a total of about $1,900.

He also reported that the village Department of Public Works fixed a water leak at Mills Park that had made the land around the park sink. He said there was a hydrant from 1966 that was taken out near the park but assured the board that there are several other fire hydrants in the area, so home insurance rates and safety will not be affected by the change.

Mayor Dunham also said that the state Department of Transportation is putting a small office at the parking site on Route 9. He said the state plans to connect to the village’s sewer connection. He said the state is going to be “taking over more of the plowing that the county does.”

Also at the meeting:

• The board discussed the Albany-Hudson Electric Trail (AHET). The village has signed an easement, at no cost, with Stewart’s for land for the trail. Mayor Dunham also said the village was close to finalizing a plan to purchase land from Samascott’s for trail. The state will pay for the land and the costs of closing

• Trustee Rich Phillips said that during the village pedestrian safety week, which the board declared over the Thanksgiving holiday, the state police gave out 17 traffic ticket

• The village will hold elections March 19 from noon to 9 p.m. in the Village Hall. The seats of Trustee Leiser and Trustee David Flaherty are on the ballot.

The next Village Board meeting is Wednesday, February 13 at 7:30 p.m.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email moc.r1555715369epapa1555715369ibmul1555715369oc@el1555715369adsae1555715369te1555715369

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