Irvington Passes Law to Allow Bed-and-Breakfasts

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by Barrett Seaman – 

Fulfilling one of the items from their recently updated Comprehensive Plan, Irvington trustees last month passed a law allowing bed-and-breakfasts to operate in the village going forward—albeit with restrictions.

Homeowners may convert all or part of a single-family residence to a B&B “for overnight accommodation to transient paying guests to whom a morning meal may be served.” They will be limited, however, to buildings fronting either Broadway or Main Street; their “outward appearance shall be that of a one-family dwelling, and there shall be no indication of the bed-and- breakfast establishment from the exterior of the building”—except for a freestanding, indirectly lit four-by-four sign in front.

There can be no more than five guest rooms, and the length of a guest’s stay may not exceed 15 days. There must be off-street parking available for guests but suitably screened. The village will issue permits, and proprietors (who must live in or adjacent to the B&B) must comply with all state laws and inspection requirements.

Licensing B&Bs is one of several ways Irvington is attempting to alleviate the financial pressures stemming from rising property taxes. The village already permits homeowners to rent out single bedrooms to students and other transients for longer periods of time. A proposal to allow historic homes to be rented out for events ran into community resistance last summer, and a proposal to allow Airbnbs remains on the table.

Tarrytown currently permits bed-and-breakfasts in its Historic Commons District between South Broadway and the Hudson, but a check of travel web sites turns up no B&Bs in town at present. Sleepy Hollow’s code is silent on the issue, said Village Administrator Anthony Giaccio. “If someone wants to apply for one, we’ll have to deal with it then,” he said.

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