Village of Cooperstown Board proposes new tourism accommodation law

By WKTV News

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (WKTV) -- Nearly 50,000 people gathered in Cooperstown this weekend for the National Baseball Hall of Fame induction and just a few months ago President Obama used the village as a backdrop to boost tourism nationwide. But, the mayor says at its core it's a place people call home and that needs to come first.

The current tourism accommodation law says if you're going to rent out your home the owner needs to be on site because then the property is better monitored. However, there are locals that make a business out of renting out their homes while they stay somewhere else. These nine businesses were grandfathered in and called non-conforming.

Well a five-year sunset provision threatened to end rental use for all the non-conformers. That's partly because a few of these businesses have caused disruptions to the homes around them.

On Monday, the village board introduced a new version of the law that will only sunset the non-conformers that don't play by the rules.

"The only way you'll be phased out through a sunset provision is if there's a process of complaints that were deemed proper complaints and if they added up over time you'd be phased out. So in a sense, if you have a problem with that, you're saying regardless of how disruptive and troublesome we are to the neighbors we should still stay in business forever. We're saying there should be repercussions to bad action," said Mayor Jeff Katz.

After hearing public comments at the board meeting, they plan on making minor tweaks. But they hope to roll a new version out in the next couple months.

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