HUDSON — The Common Council held a public hearing at City Hall, 520 Warren St., on Monday on a proposed moratorium on short-term rentals.
The proposed law would impose a six-month moratorium, or temporary prohibition, on the registration or operation of all new short-term lodging facilities in Hudson.
The law is proposed to give local lawmakers adequate time to draft a detailed law regarding regulations on short-term rentals. The law names Airbnb-type lodging as a concern that may bring economic benefits to some individuals and businesses in the area, it may also have potential negative impacts on quality of life for citizens and neighborhoods of the city.
“The Common Council hereby declares a temporary six (6) month moratorium on the registration or granting of new permits for the establishment, placement, construction, enlargement and development of any new short-term lodging facilities within the City of Hudson,” according to the proposed law.
A similar law was proposed and approved by the council last year, but was vetoed by then-Mayor Rick Rector after a public hearing.
“I have not been somebody in favor of this from the moment it was proposed,” Kristal Heinz of Hudson said. “I don’t feel like the Common Council’s done their research. Data has been pointed to, it’s not available.”
Claudia Bruce said she is in favor of the moratorium.
“I’ve been watching this for a while, it’s been going on and on, and it seems to me like we just need some time to get all the facts,” Bruce said. “There’s a way to get them and if we could just have a moment to stop what some of us feel like is an avalanche of short-term rentals — whether that’s true or not, we might not have the exact data — but we need to stop, give ourselves this time to get the facts together and think about this law which is going to have a big impact on Hudson.”
“I have seen a decline in business for a lot of businesses,” said Alana Hauptmann, owner of Red Dot Restaurant at 321 Warren St.
She said in recent years, her employees have not been able to find affordable long-term housing in Hudson, and said Hudson has lost its soul and turned into a “tourist trap.”
“The regular person who would be coming and shopping, eating, on Warren Street can’t find a place to stay,” Hauptmann said.
Jay Neuschatz, owner of TK Home and Garden at 441 Warren St., said he can see the need for data collection and regulation on short-term rentals.
“At the same time, you need to look at if that’s going to make a difference in creating more affordable housing in town,” Neuschatz said. “I don’t know what the real answer is, but I think it needs to be looked at simultaneously with this.”
Neuschatz said his business benefits greatly from tourists in town, and he has seen a steady increase over the years.
Tourism can be a good thing, but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing,” Matt McGhee of Hudson said.
The moratorium does not include hotels, motels or traditional bed-and-breakfasts, or those applying for the renewal of currently issued registrations.
Prospective rental owners can plead hardship during the moratorium and have their cases heard by the Common Council.
Steve Dunn said he thinks the moratorium creates a legal oligopoly of current owners of bed-and-breakfasts.
The moratorium could end earlier than six months if any local law or ordinance is enacted and adopted by the council before the expiration date.
The law will be voted on at the Common Council’s regular meeting on Feb. 18.
Abby Hoover is a reporter for Columbia-Greene Media. Contact her at email@example.com or (518) 828-1616 ext. 2500.