West Haven short-term rental dispute raises enforcement questions

WEST HAVEN – A number of Baldwin Street homeowners say they bought property so they could have waterfront views in a residential area, even though parking in a narrow, dead-end street presents challenges and homes are close enough together to hear a particularly loud sneeze from the neighbor.

As a result, residents didn’t appreciate seeing one of the homes closest to the water listed on the Airbnb website as a “perfect waterfront getaway” that’s “ideal for small get-togethers.” family, a reunion of friends or a girls retreat or weddings.”

After city officials learned that owners Jeff and Kim Ambroise listed the home they bought in January for $820,000 on the short-term rental website, they were asked to appear before the Zoning Board of Appeals to obtain a special use exception for short-term rentals. rentals.

“This is our retirement home, the home that we want to pass on to our children,” Jeff Ambroise told council members at the Aug. 17 meeting. He said the couple, whose main residence is in West Hartford, had spent six months renovating the house and were looking to earn additional income to pay off the costs of those renovations by renting it out.

In 2019, the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission passed new regulations regarding short-term rentals. According to these regulations, properties cannot be rented for a period of less than seven days and no more than four unrelated temporary tenants can occupy the space at a time.

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