Sign up for our Newsletter

Open Close

Newly passed code encourages B&Bs in Bellport

Update: The village in August offered this notice on its website:

“Due to jurisdictional issues and resident feedback, the Bed & Breakfast ordinance has been placed on moratorium and is being re-evaluated by the Village Board.”

Original story:

After fielding concerns from residents, the Bellport Village Board unanimously passed legislation Saturday designed to increase the village’s stock of available guest rooms for rent.

The new code allows for commercial bed-and-breakfasts to be run out of single-family homes in any residential area of the village. The home’s owner would just need to acquire a special permit.

“We have a beautiful village, which we all adore,” said Trustee Bob Rosenberg, who spearheaded the new bed-and-breakfast code. “However there’s no place in the village to stay. No hotels. There are no major existing opportunities of any kind.

“What we wanted to do was create a regulated, controlled B&B opportunity in the residential districts.”

The code requires safety inspections, public hearings and fees to be paid to the village. The owner of a B&B must use the house as his or her primary residence and be present when guests are staying over. The property would need adequate parking, at least one on-site parking area per guest room.

Also, no other B&B can already be operating within a 500-foot radius of a property line, or the distance of five lots, whichever is greater.

(See the complete code below.)

Resident Dick Serocki, who just moved to Country Club Road nine months ago, said during a public hearing before the vote that he didn’t want to “live next to a motel.”

“Do you?” he asked of the board.

“Country Club Road is pretty long, with these rules maybe there’d be room for eight bed and breakfasts,” Serocki said. “I moved into a residential street; I didn’t want to live on a commercial street. If you want visitors, talk to Donald Trump. He’ll put something up in a commercial district. It will be luxurious and have golden chandeliers.

Rosenberg called the concern “completely legitimate.”

“This is a maximum limitation set by code, by statute if you will.” he said. “Any time anyone asks for a license, the neighbors will be notified and given an opportunity to object. And just because there is a maximum limitation, that does not mean that you can’t say, ‘There’s already one on the street; that’s enough.’ We’ll listen to that.”

Another resident, Joyce Hanly, questioned whether the village was tackling problems that don’t yet exist.

The village’s lawyer, David Moran, stressed that the new code is designed to allow guests to visit Bellport and stay in a commercial establishment that’s been deemed safe by the village.

“We want to step out in front of a problem before there’s a tragedy,” Moran said.

Village officials said repeatedly Saturday that they will address a way to handle potential problems that come with residents renting out their entire home to visitors through sites like AirBnb.com at a later date.

They also said B&B guests would be allowed to use village amenities, though that would be handed through special rules and relations, not through village code.

mike@greaterpatchogue.com

B&B Code




About the author: Michael White

Michael White is a Bellport resident, longtime newspaper reporter and editor, and the owner of greaterpatchogue.com. Email him your story ideas or tips: mike@greaterpatchogue.com