Grand Island attack short term rentals

Grand Island has one hotel, a couple of motels, and a handful of approved Bed and Breakfasts (aka Airbnb room rentals), including one owned by Cherrish and Matt Beals which you can check out at

If you’re wondering why we have so few choices, look no further than the current Town code at It prevents the following -

  • Whole house/vacation rentals (Commonly referred to as Airbnbs)
  • Anyone who wants to rent rooms that can’t provide off-street parking which is not in the front yard/easement of their property. This prevents at least 70% or more of Grand Island properties from operating a bed and breakfast. This is because anyone with a driveway that goes straight into their garage from the street (unless it’s more than a car length longer than 35 feet deep) does not meet the town code requirements for off-street parking.

The Beals were approved in February to go from renting 2 rooms that can accommodate up to 6 guests to 3 rooms that can accommodate up to 8 guests.

Proposed revisions to the existing town code BnB laws will impose additional restrictions including -

  • Limiting the number of guests to a maximum of 6
  • Requiring property owners to allow up to two inspections per year by the police or Town
  • Allowing for only one BnB permit/license per owner on Grand Island

The proposed draft ordinance in the comments for those interested.

A public hearing is scheduled for Monday, April 1st at 8pm at the Grand Island Town Hall.

Attend or write to the Town Board at if you are concerned about the new ordinance for any of the following reasons -

  • You would like to see the town’s limited resources and your tax dollars spent on real issues
  • You would like more options on Grand Island for your friends and family members to stay at when visiting
  • You support small businesses
  • You support individuals' property rights

The Beals have been thrilled to host several friends and families of local Islanders and are disappointed at the level of government overreach contained in the existing ordinance and the proposed revisions to it.

If you think about it, renting rooms is the ultimate local small business. It brings in revenue for other local small businesses and provides options on places to stay for our family and friends who visit Grand Island.

The large corporate hotels are focused on pushing local ordinances just like this one because it reduces competition so they can increase their revenue per room.

If you have concerns about Bed and Breakfasts/Airbnb's based on stories you've heard or seen on the news, that’s exactly what the hotel industry wants. They are pushing those narratives and misinformation to induce fear so that local laws get passed that make it difficult, or even impossible, for individuals like me to rent.

In reality, less than .01% of Airbnb rentals have safety issues. This aligns with the Beals experience over the past 4 years as an owner of a whole house rental in Niagara Falls and a bed and breakfast where they have had over 200 reservations and not one single issue.

With nearly 100 Airbnb reviews the Beals overall rating is 4.96 out of 5. Here’s some of the most common fears/concerns and what the majority of Airbnb owners, do to prevent them from occuring -

1. Noise/parties - Beals says she has never had a single issue because of the rules laid out in rental agreements. As a responsible owner who reviews guests after they stay and whose guests review our property, everyone, including neighbors, must have a good experience. Technology via ring cameras on the exterior informs how many guests arrive. Products that measure decibel levels help ensure guests follow existing noise ordinances and laws.

2. Neighborhood character - When the Beals first applied for their special use permit on Grand Island, this was one of the biggest concerns raised. Beals decided to find out what the neighbors of existing BnB’s on the Island had experienced and spoke to 27 neighbors next to the 6 permitted BnBs on the island at that time. She asked them what living next to one was like. Several didn't even know they lived next to one and not a single neighbor had experienced any issues.

3. The Beals have designated parking and specific rules that align with existing parking requirements to ensure that guests do not impact where neighbors park. This is also a best practice most owners follow.

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