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West Haven News

Posted on: August 18, 2020

Residents reminded about regulation for short-term rentals

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WEST HAVEN, Aug. 18, 2020 — Planning and Development Commissioner Fred A. Messore reminds residents about a year-old regulation guiding “Short Term Rentals” in the city.

The Planning and Zoning Commission adopted the regulation in August 2019 amid concerns that West Haven homeowners may try to rent their properties for short-term stays, Messore said.

Homeowners seeking to rent their properties should first review the regulation at Short Term Rentals.

Short-term rentals include dwellings rented through such vacation rental websites as Airbnb and VRBO. The sites connect people offering residences or rooms with others who want to rent them for short-term stays.

“The Planning and Zoning Commission recognizes individuals have a need to be flexible in meeting monthly housing expenses, but the commission is also committed to protecting residents of the neighborhoods in which such uses might occur,” Chairwoman Kathleen Hendricks said. “The commission does not want to see overcrowding of residential streets and wants to protect residential character from being impacted by excessive turnover on local streets.”

Messore said the regulation for short-term rentals establishes an approval process for such uses and allows the usage in two residential districts and two commercial districts by “special use exception” approval through the Zoning Board of Appeals.

The regulation requires a seven-day minimum stay for rentals, limits occupancy and defines space requirements for the short-term use.

“Owners must also demonstrate they have sufficient parking to support such rentals,” Messore said.

According to Zoning Enforcement Officer Catherine Conniff, the zoning board may grant a special use exception if appropriate safeguards and conditions are met.

Those, Conniff said, include the impact of proposed use on the surrounding neighborhood and properties, including the impact of property values on adjoining lots; the impact of proposed use on the health, safety and welfare of the community, specifically adjoining neighborhoods; and the impact of potential traffic generated by the proposed use.

To report a short-term rental violation, call the planning and zoning office at 203-937-3580.

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