Proposed changes to the Rhinebeck Village zoning code

I am an AirBnB host in Rhinebeck Village. I’m concerned about developments in RHINEBECK VILLAGE that are likely to prevent the legal operation of an AirBnB offering within a few weeks.

I contacted several of you last night to ask if you wanted to join forces to make sure our voices are heard. Many of you do. Today I got more information and I am even more concerned.

The Village of Rhinebeck Board of Trustee will be holding a public hearing at a special board meeting to be held on Thursday, December 8, 2016 at 7PM at the Village Hall, 76 East Market St, Rhinebeck, NY. The purpose of the public hearing is to discuss the proposed changes to the Rhinebeck Village Zoning Code.

Copies of the proposed changes to the Zoning Code are available at the Village Clerk’s Office (76 East Market Street).

A special zoning commission developed the proposed changes to the Rhinebeck Village Zoning Code. The zoning commission consists of 2 zoning (John Clark and Tim Decker), 2 planning (Al Dekrey and Colton Johnson) and 2 Village board officials (Scott Cruikshank and Brant Neuneker).
Following is a simplified synopsis of what the new regulations will mean for AirBnB hosts.

If the proposed zoning ordinances are adopted ALL Rhinebeck Village AirBnB hosts, other than Commercial B&B establishments using AirBnB, will be not be in compliance. Some hosts may be able to remedy the violations with a modest amount of effort, but others will have to cease operation.

The current ordinances in many instances allow as a right an in home B&B, i.e., private or shared room offered on AirB&B. The proposed ordinances will require the host to apply to the planning board for a special permit for their in home B&B. There are several criteria and hence plenty of room to find multiple subjective reasons to deny the permit.

All AirBnB hosts offering an entire home will not be able to operate legally with a single exception, host who have an alternate dwelling on their property. If you do have an alternate dwelling, you may be able to rent your entire home or your entire alternate dwelling so long as there is a resident host. The proposed ordinances have contradictions for this one exception. A resident host may be required to stay in the primary house and the resident host may be required to be a primary owner.

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I am providing my email address so that interested parties can contact me. I will compile an email list and make sure everyone has it.

Also, feel free to call me. 718.916.5243 Kevin

Hi Kevin,
I just heard from my mother in Florida, that she saw in her local paper that New York state was making these very changes. Maybe it’s not unique to Rhinebeck.


Hey Kevin, thanks for the heads up. I’ll email you and send you my phone number, as I definitely want to be apprised of what’s going on, and get to that meeting!

I certainly do not know of the zoning ordinances in your town. But I am following similar actions in our township in Grand Traverse County, Michigan. They are not as far along as your community is. Suggest you get your group together and go into town hall and talk directly to your township planner and express to him/her why airbnb is so good for your community. Do this before it gets to the public hearing stage.

Related, and you need to verify, but I believe that if a zoning change is made that makes a use or property non conforming to the new code you are essentially grandfathered in as a legal non conforming use or property. But new users would not be able to start up. This is how zoning laws work here in Michigan. Good luck and let us know how it goes.


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@Monica_Sequoia_Neiro No, it is not state wide exactly - NYS regulations that apply to cities with a population of 1M are targeted at New York City and specifically make illegal the advertising of whole house rentals. It was always illegal actually rent the apartments in NYS, but enforcement was burdensome.

But other municipalities - like Rhinebeck, like Woodstock- are fighting back along side NYC and I can’t say as I blame them. It is a complicated problem.

@KCurry I don’t see any minutes published online by the zoning board. Do you know what the result of the meeting was?