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Lake Placid postpones enforcement of short-term rental regs

LAKE PLACID — The town of North Elba and village of Lake Placid are giving short-term vacation rental owners another six weeks to secure permits before enforcement will occur.

Meanwhile, short-term rental owners are asked not to submit permit applications at this time.

The extension was made to give code enforcement officials enough time to get a system in place through Host Compliance LLC, a company that works with about 250 local government clients, including major cities such as Orlando, Florida; Charleston, South Carolina; and Las Vegas, Nevada.

At their regular meeting Monday, May 4, Lake Placid village trustees approved the extension of short-term rental permit enforcement until July 31. The decision was made, in tandem with the North Elba Town Council, so they could hire Host Compliance to facilitate the enforcement of the short-term rental law, which went in to effect March 19.

“While the application process has gotten underway, it has been relatively slow at this point,” Mayor Craig Randall said at the meeting. “So if we’re going to make this change … we should make it right now and get Host Compliance on board.”

The meeting was held by video conference, and village/town Code Enforcement Officer Michael Orticelle explained to board members that they had built a 90-day moratorium into the law to allow people to get permits, which was to expire June 17. However, getting Host Compliance’s systems in place will take longer than that.

“The town will need four to six weeks to get the software package that the Host Compliance company is providing to conform to our law and to all our needs,” Orticelle said.

Host Compliance will provide ongoing management and support of the short-term rental program. The software will include tools to identify all potential vacation rentals using proprietary software, provide statistics on vacation rental activity in the area, monitor compliance specific to the local ordinance, and provide a 24/7 complaint hotline for neighbors.

“It does everything that would take at least one other employee, if not more, to achieve in this software package,” Orticelle said. “It is not cheap … but it will save time and money for the town in the long run.”

The software will help by alleviating the need for mailing permits, which Orticelle said is “cumbersome.”

“People have to download all the paperwork from our website, fill it all out, put it in an envelope and either mail it to us or scan it back in and email it to us,” Orticelle said. “Everything can be done online through a portal that the software company, Host Compliance, will provide, and it will be a little bit more seamless.”

As of Monday, the code enforcement office had received about 60 applications for short-term vacation rentals, according to Orticelle.

Host Compliance will work with employees in the town and village Building and Planning Department to create an online portal tailored to the local short-term rental law. For this reason, they are asking all short-term rental owners to pause on submitting applications until the online system is announced, which should take about four weeks.

Permit applications that have already been submitted will be processed and mailed once the program is operational.

For more information on the short-term rental program, visit www.northelba.org.