Short-term rental, long-term process?

Permitting and procedures in Highland

Posted 1/17/23

ELDRED, NY — Code enforcement official BJ Gettel was clear. “We trying to promote business here,” she said.

She was referring to the application process that property owners who …

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Short-term rental, long-term process?

Permitting and procedures in Highland


ELDRED, NY — Code enforcement official BJ Gettel was clear. “We trying to promote business here,” she said.

She was referring to the application process that property owners who want to rent their property in a short-term rental need to go through in order to get a permit from the Town of Highland.

Gettel spoke at the January 10 meeting of the Highland Town Board. She works in the town’s code enforcement office as an employee of Fusco Engineering, which by contract provides the town with code officials.

Gettel said that she was working with planning board chairman Norm Sutherland and codes committee member Chris Tambini to simplify the application for short-term rentals, as well as the special-use permitting process. She added that she will be meeting with the Upper Delaware Council and representatives from the National Park Service to explore whether any of their approval processes could be streamlined. In certain instances, approvals can take as much as six months.

Gettel said she would appear before the planning board at their meeting on January 25 to further discuss the proposed changes in the application language.

As for short-term rentals, she said that every short-term rental application requires a rental inspection. That inspection includes basic questions: has the oil burner been cleaned, has the chimney been cleaned, are there smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, how does the electrical panel look, is the property neat and clean, is there a dumpster, and is the dumpster screened?

“These are all typical things that we would be looking for,” she said. Additionally, the inspection would include exterior lighting, whether the light is spilling out onto a neighbor’s property, and what kind of screening is around the property. “If the inspection comes back with a fail, it would be our recommendation not to approve the project until such time that it passes that rental inspection. I believe in educating people as I am doing these inspections,” she said.

In other business, the board announced that they will begin interviewing potential candidates for the open seat on the Highland Town Board. The application process closed on November 22.

“It’s been a busy month,” supervisor Jeff Haas said. The personnel committee, consisting of council members Kaitlin Haas and Chris Tambini, will be conducting the interviews.

The board also ordered a one-ton International basic chassis and a reversible plow truck box and accessories package, totaling an investment of $136,344. Deputy highway superintendent Robert Robertson said that surplus equipment was being readied for auction. The board also allocated $2,200 to town engineer Joe Gottlieb to produce a final topographical map of the town highway garage and salt-shed site, to be submitted to New York State for the final payment on the salt-shed project

The board approved the signing of a permit with New York State Department of Transportation, as part of the Kate Project and the Sullivan Renaissance Silver Feather Award. The board also executed a lease agreement with the Highland Ambulance Service. The ambulance service is moving into the garage bay located next to the town hall, which used to house the constables’ car and office.

As part of the public safety committee report, Kaitlin Haas said that the Sullivan County sheriff’s office began its patrols on January 1. The deputies would be serving Highland on a rotating basis, but the board expressed the desire that deputies be consistently assigned, so as to build a rapport with town residents.

In other business, the youth committee announced that Camp Koinonia has launched its afterschool program, and that there were funds not expended from the past summer that could be allocated, so the town would again be in partnership with the Koinonia program.

Over a dozen residents were in the audience. Their questions included the timeliness—or lack thereof—of the posting of board meetings minutes on the town’s website, and said that there had been no minutes posted since August 2022 and inquired about the schedule for filling the empty board seat. Town clerk Sue Hoffman responded that she would check into why the minutes were not showing up on the website, and Jeff Haas added that the board has three options in terms of filling the board seat: leaving it unfilled, appointing someone, and calling for a special election. He said the board would take the first step by interviewing potential candidates who expressed interest in being on the board this month.

The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 14, with a workshop meeting on Tuesday, Feburary 7. Meetings are held at 7 p.m. at the Eldred Town Hall on Proctor Road.

Highland, short term rental, Highland town board


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