Rental Registry, Hamlet Study

Michael Sendlenski, East Hampton Town attorney, Ann Glennon, the town’s principal building inspector, and Betsy Bambrick, director of ordinance enforcement, shared some of the ins and outs of the town’s new rental regisitry law. Janis Hewitt

On Monday East Hampton Town Councilman Peter Van Scoyoc introduced to the Montauk Citizens Advisory Committee the Rental Registry Road Show, as he jokingly called the team made up of Michael Sendlenski, the town attorney; Ann Glennon, chief building inspector, and Betsy Bambrick, director of ordinance enforcement.

The team is visiting local civic groups to discuss the new rental property law, aimed at overcrowded share houses, and to go over its application form, noting several areas, highlighted in red, that are mandatory before a registration number can be assigned. The application pertains to rental homes that are not owner-occupied and is considered a self-inspection checklist for renters.

Anyone who rents out a house must fill out a form, pay a $100 fee, and verify that a certificate of occupancy is on file with the building department. The form gives the town enforcement leverage in cases of overcrowding, and the assurance that single-family homes are not turned into hotels, as happened in one Montauk house last summer. If a landlord writes that there are three bedrooms in the house, there had better be three bedrooms in the house or stiff fines can be levied, Ms. Bambrick warned.

The checklist goes over other mandatory responses including swimming pools and their fencing, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors (which must be installed in every bedroom and within 10 feet of any bedroom in a hallway), and whether the house has a fireplace or wood stove that is screened or has doors. Applications must be signed and notarized.

More information on the rental registry is on the East Hampton Town website.

Next up for discussion was the town’s current hamlet study, an intensive look at the unique issues affecting designated commercial areas in East Hampton, Springs, Wainscott, Amagansett, and the downtown and harbor areas of Montauk. How to maintain a thriving economy while serving the needs of both second-home owners and the year-round community is the goal of the study.

Committee members suggested a few areas for study. These include clarifying pre-existing nonconforming uses, transportation, traffic and parking, including vehicles versus bicycles on the roads and bikes versus pedestrians on sidewalks; pedestrian safety, speed limits and lighting, waste management, code enforcement issues, and affordable seasonal housing, which members said has become a very real problem for businesses that hire seasonal employees. “It’s really gotten worse over the years,” said Kathy Weiss.

Mr. Van Scoyoc announced that Fort Pond House will have an official grand opening on May 15. Groups can request use of the property, he said, and the public can use it to launch kayaks and other small boats or just to visit and relax by the water.