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Town, village schedule more STR discussions

LAKE PLACID — The North Elba Town Council and Lake Placid Village Board of Trustees have scheduled more special meetings to discuss changes to the municipalities’ short-term vacation rental regulations.

The village Board of Trustees will hold its third special meeting to discuss STR regulations at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 8 at the North Elba Town Hall. People can attend the meeting virtually at https://meet.goto.com/lpv. People can watch the board’s first special meeting on STRs, held on July 19, at https://tinyurl.com/msyzweb8. The board had its second STR meeting yesterday.

The town council will hold its fourth public special meeting to discuss STRs from 9 to 11 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 4 at the North Elba Town Hall. Town Supervisor Derek Doty said the town council is planning to have a second public STR meeting later in August, but the council hasn’t set a date for that meeting yet.

While the town council’s public meetings on STRs have largely been for councilors to discuss possible changes to STR regulations among themselves, Doty said that the public will have an opportunity to share their thoughts and ideas with the board at the second public meeting in August. He said the town council wants to give the public a chance to voice their opinions ahead of the public hearing that’s required before the town council can adopt STR new regulations.

The town council will hold its second closed meeting — between the town council and the town attorney — on Aug. 9 as the town discusses the legality of its ideas for new STR regulations.

“I can’t say we’re finalizing our direction (on STRs), but we’re close enough now that we need constant legal direction to make sure we’re doing everything right,” Doty said.

Kristin O’Neill, assistant director of the New York state Committee on Open Government, said that board meetings held “for the sole purpose of requesting and receiving legal advice” are exempt from the state’s open meetings law and aren’t required to be open to the public.

The town and village are currently under a six-month moratorium on issuing new STR permits. The moratorium is expected to end early this September, giving town and village boards just over a month to finalize changes to their STR regulations. The town and village also have the option to extend their moratoriums, though Doty said the town is on track to finalize its new regulations before the moratorium ends. Village Mayor Art Devlin said the village board doesn’t have plans to extend its moratorium, but he said board members “aren’t ruling it out.” A public hearing will be required before both boards can adopt new STR regulations.