The purpose of this letter is to expand on the comments regarding short-term rentals (STRs) I made at the June 8 Woodstock Public Hearing, and reported on 6/16/21 in Hudson Valley One.
In an effort to improve availability of affordable long-term lodging, the town of Woodstock, without a public hearing, decided to require STR permits and set a cap lower than the number of approved STRs at that time. The town is now proposing a nine-month moratorium on STRs. While the council is well-meaning, these laws do not resolve the problem of affordable housing and deny the rights of homeowners who already registered an STR with Ulster County and have been paying taxes on STR income.
Most STRs are not candidates for long-term rentals since their owners use their houses whenever they can. They have STRs to defray some property costs, enabling them to enjoy their house when they can, maintain it over time, and contribute to the community. They provide numerous benefits to a variety of different stakeholders, including:
- Provide revenue to local residents who help maintain the house.
- Deliver customers who support local businesses, helping Woodstock thrive.
- Help to keep properties in good condition, supporting neighborhood quality.
- Support Woodstock and Ulster County infrastructure through additional taxes.
Dozens of homeowners have tried to and not been allowed to purchase STR permits. This is especially heartbreaking for families who have been part of the community for many years (45 years in my case) and won’t be able to keep their homes and ties to Woodstock because of these new proposed laws.