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Bellport looks to Hamptons villages to help curb AirBnB’s

News | Newly passed code encourages B&Bs in Bellport

Bellporters will be looking east to figure out how to get a handle on the growing list of short-term rentals in the village available on websites such as AirBnB.com.

“We’re going to look at other villages and their codes to see what they have done. What they’ve done well. What they haven’t done well,” said South Howells Point Road resident Mary Butler. “Places like Southampton, East Hampton, Quogue.

“Because that’s where a lot of these issues started and they’ve headed this way.”

Butler will be chairing a seven-person committee (names below) tasked with making recommendations to the Village Board sometime over the winter, Mayor Ray Fell said during Monday night’s Village Board meeting.

Last month, Butler spoke on behalf of several other residents who opposed the village’s previous attempt at addressing the issue. The village was looking to establish a law that would have allowed for legal B&Bs in any residential neighborhood.

The board had actually approved the B&B law, but then backed off before it was officially put into the village code.

Village Board members had reasoned that encouraging legal B&Bs might have been a good way to discourage illegal and unregulated residential rental houses — and the potential problems they bring to neighborhoods, such as attracting wild partiers.

But residents spoke out against the measure, saying they didn’t want commercial operations on their quiet blocks.

Monday night, Fell said he “looked forward to the recommendations” the advisory committee would bring to the board.

“Hopefully, in the late winter, we can revisit this and come up with something that is palatable to everyone in the community,” he said.

Fell has said there are only a couple dozen short-term rentals that can be found online. And though no huge issues seem to have presented themselves, he said the board wants to stave off problems from occurring — should a couple dozen places for rent balloon into a couple hundred.

Butler said the committee members will be looking to meet with East End village officials in person.

“If somebody else has done it before you, why not try to learn from them?” Butler said.

The advisory committee members are as followed: Mary Bulter (chairperson), Eric Sofo, Loretta Drew, Steven Porcaro, Gloria Cummings, Russel Nardozza and Dwight Trujillo.

mike@greaterpatchogue.com

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