Village of Village of The Branch, NY
Suffolk County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of the Branch as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 5-8-2018 by L.L. No. 4-2018]
As used in this article, the following words shall have the meanings-indicated:
ASSEMBLY
Includes but not be limited to a wedding, bachelor or bachelorette party, or similar party activity.
DIRECTOR
The Director of the Department of Public Safety or his or her designee.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
DWELLING UNIT
A single unit providing complete, independent living facilities for one or more persons, including permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking and sanitation.
OWNER
An individual or group of individuals who are in possession of and have a fee interest in real property. The term "owner" shall not include a business entity or association, a trustee, receiver or guardian of an estate, or a mortgagee or lien holder.
OWNER-OCCUPIED
A one-family house used by the owner as his or her or their principal residence (domicile).
ROOM or ROOMS
A bedroom or group of bedrooms in a one-family house used for short-term rentals, where there are no provisions for eating or cooking, but may include the use of private or shared bathroom facilities.
SHORT-TERM RENTAL
Can be comprised of dwelling unit(s), a room, or a group of rooms legally established within one residence that are owner-occupied, where the dwelling unit(s), room or group of rooms are rented, leased or otherwise assigned for a tenancy of less than 30 consecutive days, and where no meals are served. The term "short-term rental" does not include mixed-use buildings, multiple-dwelling buildings, dormitories, hotel or motel rooms, bed-and-breakfast inns or boardinghouses or lodging houses.
A. 
Permit required. It shall be unlawful to use, establish, maintain, operate, occupy, rent or lease any property as a short-term rental without first having obtained a short-term rental permit. The failure or refusal to obtain a short-term rental permit shall be deemed a violation of this article.
B. 
Owner-occupancy. It shall be unlawful to use, establish, maintain, operate, occupy, rent or lease any property as a short-term rental if the property is not owner occupied. The failure of the owner to occupy the property as his principal residence (domicile) shall be deemed a violation of this article.
C. 
Advertisement. An application for a short-term rental permit shall be filed before the room(s) or dwelling unit(s) are advertised for short-term rental, and if the spaces are not advertised, then such permit shall be obtained before the room(s) or dwelling unit(s) are leased or rented. The short-term rental permit number shall be noted on the advertisement. Any person who advertises the space for rent or lease, or rents the room(s) or dwelling unit(s) as short-term rentals without first having obtained a short-term rental permit shall be deemed to be in violation of this article.
D. 
Signage. It shall be unlawful to place signage on property advertising or identifying any portion of the property as a short-term rental. Any person who violates the provisions of this subsection shall be deemed to be in violation of this article.
E. 
Parking. All vehicles attributable to short-term rentals shall be parked on site in parking spaces provided for such purpose when the vehicles are not in use. All parking shall comply with the provisions of § 202-7C(5). Any person who violates the provisions of this subsection shall be deemed to be in violation of this article.
F. 
Permitted number of days. It shall be unlawful for the property owner to use, establish, maintain, operate, occupy, rent or lease any portion of his property as a short-term rental for more than 120 days out of a calendar year. A property owner may apply to the Director for a hardship exemption. Any person who violates the provisions of this subsection shall be deemed to be in violation of this article.
G. 
Number of bedrooms. It shall be unlawful for the property owner to use, establish, maintain, operate, occupy, rent or lease more than two bedrooms within a dwelling unit. Any person who violates the provisions of this subsection shall be deemed to be in violation of this article.
H. 
Cooking and sleeping facilities. It shall be unlawful to have cooking facilities in rooms used for short-term rental. There shall not be any rooms for overnight guests other than in the main building on the lot. Any person who violates the provisions of this subsection shall be deemed to be in violation of this article.
I. 
Assembly. It shall be unlawful for a short-term rental property to be utilized for assembly between 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. Any person who violates the provisions of this subsection shall be deemed in violation of this article.
J. 
Conditions and restrictions. It shall be unlawful for a property owner to violate, fail, neglect or refuse to fully comply with any condition, restriction or requirement of the short-term rental permit. Any person who violates the provisions of this subsection shall be deemed to be in violation of this article.
The presence or existence of any of the following shall create a rebuttable presumption that a property is being utilized as a short-term rental:
A. 
The property is offered for lease or rent on a short-term rental website, including, but not limited to Airbnb, HomeAway, VRBO and similar websites; or
B. 
The property is offered for lease or rent by the use of any other advertising mechanism for a period of less than 30 days.
A short-term rental permit shall be valid for a period of one year from the date of issuance unless sooner terminated or revoked.
A. 
Application. Applications for short-term rental permits shall be on forms provided by the Village Clerk and signed by each property owner. A nonrefundable application fee of $50 per property shall be payable upon application. In no instance shall the filing of an application and payment of fees be construed as to exonerate the property owner of responsibility for compliance with the building, housing, fire and maintenance requirements of any local, county, state or federal agency having jurisdiction. Each application shall include the following:
(1) 
The name and address, e-mail address, and contact numbers of all property owners; and
(2) 
Government issued proof of residency of each owner with picture ID (driver's license, passport, etc.); and
(3) 
The property address; the total number of bedrooms and bathrooms inside the building; the total number of dwelling units and individual bedrooms proposed for short-term rental use; the location of each such dwelling unit or individual bedroom within the building; and the number of persons to be accommodated in each short-term rental area; and
(4) 
The number of existing on-site parking spaces, and the number of available on-site parking spaces for short-term rentals; and
(5) 
A signed and notarized certification in a form acceptable to the Village Clerk by each property owner attesting to the fact that no meal service is being provided; that the owner resides at the property and it is the owner's domicile (primary residence); that the property is fit for human habitation and safe; that the property owner will comply with all of the conditions and restrictions of the permit; that no portion of the area used for short-term rentals will utilize a cellar or attic, or any portion thereof, as habitable space unless it meets the requirements of the International Fire and Building Code or successor law; that the property is in compliance with all the provisions of this article, the applicable provisions of the Village Code, the International Fire, Building and Maintenance Codes; and the required building permits, certificates of occupancy and/or letters-in-lieu are in place for all existing structures on the property; and
(6) 
Such other information and/or documentation deemed necessary by the Village Clerk.
B. 
Duty to amend. If the status of the information changes during the course of any calendar year, it is the responsibility of the owner to submit such changes to the Village Clerk, in writing, within 30 days of the occurrence of such change. Failure to do so shall be deemed a violation of this article.
A short-term rental permit may be renewed by application to the Village Clerk as in the case of an original permit application, with payment of a nonrefundable renewal fee of $25 and the production of any documents deemed necessary by the Village Clerk. All applications for a renewal of a permit shall be filed before the expiration of the original permit. A property owner whose permit has expired and has failed to file for a renewal of the permit shall be required to pay the amount of $50 as in the case of an original application, and a late fee of $25. A permit may only be renewed by the same owner for the same property upon the payment of the requisite fees.
A. 
Transferability. Short-term rental permits are not transferable. Any person who transfers a permit or uses a permit that has been transferred shall be in violation of this article.
B. 
Authority of the Village Clerk. The Village Clerk may issue a permit upon such restrictions and conditions he/she deems reasonable and necessary under the circumstances.
C. 
Conditions and restrictions of permit. All permits issued pursuant to this article shall be subject to the following conditions and restrictions, whether or not they are itemized on the permit:
(1) 
The property used for short-term rental shall be the principal residence (domicile) of the owner at all times during the term of the permit; and
(2) 
There shall be no signage on the property advertising or identifying the short-term rental; and
(3) 
The property shall have no commercial-type lighting outside the building; and
(4) 
All outward appearances of the property in which the short-term rental will be located must remain as it was before the permit was issued. A new entrance (doorway) shall not be installed by the applicant to accommodate the short-term rental. Landscaping around the house may be changed to accommodate the new use; and
(5) 
Sufficient on-site parking must be provided. Said parking shall be in a driveway on the property that is under review for the permit. Accommodations for one car per short-term rental stay and two cars for the owner's family shall be the minimum off-street parking to be provided; and
(6) 
Every bedroom in a short-term rental occupied by one person shall contain at least 70 square feet of floor area and every bedroom in a short-term rental occupied by more than one person shall contain at least 50 square feet of floor area for each occupant thereof. Children under five years of age shall not be included in the definition or calculation of occupancy; and
(7) 
No more than two bedrooms with separate or shared bathrooms within a dwelling unit shall be utilized for a short-term rental; and
(8) 
There shall be no cooking facilities in rooms. There shall not be any rooms for overnight guests, other than in the main building on the lot. There shall be no structural alterations that prevent the building from being used as a residence; and
(9) 
No more than a total of 120 days of short-term rentals shall occur within a calendar year; and
(10) 
Traffic attributed to the short-term rental must not result in significant adverse impacts to existing traffic patterns nor create a hazard to pedestrians in the neighborhood; and
(11) 
Compliance with the provisions of Chapter 180, Noise, Chapter 223, Solid Waste, and Chapter 196, Property Maintenance, of the Code of the Village of the Branch shall be required; and
(12) 
There shall be no assembly at the short-term rental property between 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m.; and
(13) 
The property owner shall maintain a registry of the names and dates of occupancy of the short-terms rental occupants. This registry may be produced for review upon request of the Director.
D. 
Notification requirements. The Village Clerk shall provide a packet of information with the issuance with each permit summarizing the restrictions, guidelines, and requirements applicable to the short-term rental use. The property owner of the short-term rental shall provide a copy of the information packet to the occupant(s) of the short-term rental property.
Once an application has been denied, no reapplication for a permit or a renewal of the permit shall be accepted for filing until the applicant has remedied the conditions that formed the basis for denial to the satisfaction of the Town.
An application for the issuance of a short-term rental permit, or renewal thereof, may be denied under the following circumstances.
A. 
Failure of the owner to file a full, true and complete application; or
B. 
Failure of the property to be owner-occupied as the owner's principal residence (domicile); or
C. 
Occupancy of the property or the short-term rental area(s), by the persons using the premises, creates a hazard or public nuisance or other condition which negatively impacts the use and/or enjoyment of surrounding properties, or threatens the peace and good order, or quality of life in the surrounding community.
The grounds upon which a permit can be revoked shall include, but shall not be limited to:
A. 
The permit was issued in error, or issued in whole or in part as a result of a false, untrue, or misleading statement on the permit application or other document submitted for filing, including, but not limited to, the schematic or certification; or
B. 
The permit has been issued and the Village either has or is in the process of suspending or revoking the certificate of occupancy or letter in lieu for the rental property; or
C. 
A short-term rental permit has been issued and the owner fails to continue to occupy the premises on a continuous basis as his primary residence (domicile); or
D. 
Failure to comply or violating the conditions and restrictions of the permit as established by the Village Clerk or Village Trustees.
Written notice of the Village's intention to revoke a permit shall be served by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, and by regular mail, to the applicant at the address shown on the application. If the notice is returned by the post office as undeliverable for any reason, as long as it was properly addressed, service of the notice shall be valid. Said notice shall state that the applicant is entitled to be represented by legal counsel at the hearing and may present the testimony of witnesses and such other evidence in his or her own behalf as may be deemed relevant or necessary.
A. 
At the administrative hearing the applicant shall be entitled to be represented by legal counsel and provided with an opportunity to be heard. He/she may present the testimony of witnesses, experts and other evidence in his own behalf as he/she deems necessary and relevant. The code officer or other person may appear and give testimony or submit evidence in support of the proposal to revoke the permit. All hearings shall be recorded and may be adjourned by the hearing officer upon good cause shown.
B. 
Administrative hearing judge. The hearing judge shall consider the evidence presented and shall submit his or her findings, in writing, within 30 days of the close of the hearing or sooner. A copy of the hearing, officer's report shall be filed with the Village Clerk or Village Judge and served on the applicant or applicant's attorney in the same manner as the original notice. The hearing judge's report shall be final as to the Village of the Branch.
The failure of the applicant or his attorney to appear at the administrative hearing shall result in the automatic revocation of the short-term rental permit. The order of revocation shall be mailed to the applicant or his attorney in the same manner as the original notice.
If a permit is revoked, no application for a new permit will be accepted for filing until the applicant has remedied the conditions that formed the basis of the revocation to the satisfaction of the Village Clerk, if applicable. Once remedied, the applicant will have to apply for a new permit and pay a $150 application fee.